To the surprise of exactly no one, Mike Brown has been voted the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Brown guided the Kings to the most dramatic turnaround in the league and the No. 3 overall seed in the Western Conference in his first season with the team. Sacramento opens the playoffs Saturday against the Warriors, the team with which Brown had been serving as an assistant until this season.
Interestingly, this marks the first-ever meeting between the Kings and Warriors in the playoffs. This also marks the first time each team reached the postseason at the same time since the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985.
Until now, the Kings hadn’t seen the playoffs since 2006.
Brown, 53, led the Kings to a 48-34 record. He has served two stints as head coach of the Cavaliers (2005-10, 2013-14), and just more than one with the Lakers (2011-12).
Back then, he was known as a defensive-minded coach whose teams played a grind-out style. Brown was proud to proclaim that his teams often “mucked up” the game.
Today, though, it’s a different story. These Kings, led by point guard De’Aaron Fox and forward/center Domantas Sabonis, averaged 120.7 points, the most since the 1983-84 Nuggets.
That’s not all.
“Sacramento averaged 118.6 points per 100 possessions, the best offensive efficiency of any team since play-by-play was first tracked in the 1996-1997 season,” Wojnarowski wrote, citing ESPN Stats & Information.
The NBCA award is voted on by the league’s 30 coaches. Suns coach Monty Williams has won in each of the past two years.
Kings GM Monte McNair, who hired Brown last offseason, very well could follow with NBA Executive of the Year honors soon.
The official NBA Coach of the Year award is voted on by media members and will be announced later in the playoffs.
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