Can Warriors assistant Mike Brown end the Kings’ 16-year drought as new head coach?

For their next head coach, the Sacramento Kings are said to turn to someone who helped guide LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant to their respective greatness.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings will appoint current Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown as their next head coach. Brown has been an assistant at Golden State since 2016 and prior to that was head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.

Wojnarowski notes that Brown will end Golden State’s current post-season run before taking on his new role with the Kings. Golden State led 2-1 in the second round with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brown will inherit the Kings team currently built around fast point guard DeAaron Fox and versatile Domantas Sabonis. Supporting the team’s stars are trusted veteran Harrison Barnes, the 2021 defensive ace and lottery pick Davion Mitchell and strong players like Donte DiVincenzo, Richaun Holmes and Maurice Harkless.

Despite the talent on the roster, the Kings finished the 2021-22 season with a record 30-52, a good 12th overall in the Western Conference, between the disappointing Lakers (33-49) and the Portland Trail Blazers. (27-55).

The Kings had two coaches during the season, first coached by Luke Walton and after he was sacked mid-season, Alvin Gentry took over. Gentry and the trade deadline deal for Sabonis couldn’t deliver the Kings beyond the season as Sacramento has now missed the playoffs 16 years in a row, the longest drought in NBA history.

Can Brown end the Sacramento drought in the playoffs?

Given the Western Conference scene, getting through the post-season will certainly be a tough challenge for Brown.

The Clippers are sure to improve with Kohei Leonard’s return from injury and the same can be said of the Denver Nuggets, who are likely to welcome the return of striker Michael Porter Jr. and dynamic offensive talent Jamal Murray. The Lakers can also improve a lot as well, especially if LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain healthy. Even the Trail Blazers should be doing better as star Damian Lillard is expected to return in good health after missing most of the season with a stomach injury. And let’s not forget Zion Williamson, who could return from a distant season and join the upcoming New Orleans Pelicans.

Additionally, there are young talents on teams like the San Antonio Spurs (who competed in the NBA Play-In Tournament), the Minnesota Timberwolves (lost in the first round) and the Grizzlies (#2 in the West and currently plays the Warriors in the second round).

It can be hard to underestimate Brown and the Kings.

History of the drought kings qualifiers

The last coach to lead the Kings to the playoffs was Rick Adelman, who last coached the team in 2006.

After he was fired, the Kings had a revolving door of coaches with notable names including Paul Westphal and current Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone, George Carl, George Carl, Dave Jorger Walton and Gentry.

According to Lugnarowski, the Kings organization gave the Browns a clear goal: “to end the longest drought in NBA history and bring the Kings back into the postseason for the first time in 16 years.”

Brown’s training history

Although Brown, has more than two decades of experience in the NBA and based on his resume, he could end up guiding the Kings in the right direction during his first season.

San Antonio Spurs

The 52-year-old started his NBA journey with Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs in 2000. He was part of the coaching staff that helped guide Spurs to the 2003 NBA Championship. This Spurs team was led by 2003 player Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili as well as veteran big man and Hall of Famer David Robinson.

Indiana Pacers

Brown then became the assistant coach of the Indiana Pacers in 2003, under Rick Carles. During his tenure with the Pacers, the team was led by Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artist and Hall of Fame shooting guard Reggie Miller. The 2004-05 Pacers were considered by many to be a contender for the championship but the notorious malice of the palace prevented the team from reaching its full potential. Brown was a key member of the accident, as he went to the stands to remove Artest from the stand.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Brown got his first coaching opportunity with the Cavaliers in 2005. He immediately made a difference, leading the team led by LeBron James to a season of 50 wins and a post-season berth for the first time in the superstar’s career.

Under Brown’s direction, the Cavs reached the NBA Finals in 2007. Cleveland ended up sweeping Tottenham but Brown and James’ rise to stardom kept the Cavs as potential contenders for the championship until 2010.

James said in 2011: “Mike Brown is a great coach. He brought us success we had never had before in that city, and he started with his defensive concepts. He brought a defensive mentality we didn’t have. Over 50 wins, he was Coach of the Year, he got us to the League Finals. The NBA, and he won us the Eastern Conference Finals…because of him and his coaching staff. I respect him. He definitely helped me become who I am today.”

Los Angeles Lakers

Brown soon had another coaching opportunity, signing with the Lakers in 2011 after Phil Jackson stepped down and retired. Los Angeles Cleveland wasn’t for Brown because he didn’t have the same success.

In his first season with the team, Brown led the team to the second round. But after the team took steps to add Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to an already star-studded roster that includes Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers led 1-4 at the start of the 2012-13 season and Brown was quickly sent off.

Golden State Warriors

Despite his quick sack in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Browns gave another chance to be their head coach. That second chance lasted only one season as Brown was abandoned after failing to guide the team beyond the season.

But soon Brown’s career was replenished by the Golden State Warriors.

Brown joined Golden State in 2016 as the team’s assistant coach. He was part of the coaching staff during the Family Championship series, winning the finals in 2017 and 2018. Brown even coached the Warriors for a record 12-0 in the 2017 playoffs when Golden State coach Steve Kerr missed due to a traumatic back injury.

Only time will tell if Brown’s experience makes a difference in Sacramento. He’s known as a defensive coach, and he’ll immediately need to improve Sacramento’s 27th-ranked defense if they are to be in search of a post-season berth.

One thing is clear, the Kings will have at least an experienced and capable captain at Brown to lead them next season.

Brown coach record

a team year register calendar
Cleveland Cavaliers 2005-2006 50-32 Lost in the second round
Cleveland Cavaliers 2006-2007 50-32 Lost in the NBA Finals
Cleveland Cavaliers 2007-2008 45-37 Lost in the second round
Cleveland Cavaliers 2008-2009 16-66 Lost in the Eastern Conference Finals
Cleveland Cavaliers 2009-2010 61-21 Lost in the second round
Los Angeles Lakers 2011-2012 66-41 Lost in the second round
Los Angeles Lakers 2021-2013 1-4 Disqualified
Cleveland Cavaliers 2013-2014 33-49 Missed the playoffs, launched in 2014
Total 347-216

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