Mike Brown is coming off a championship as an assistant with the Warriors. And he is about to take over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since before the iPhone was invented. How’s that for two ends of the hoops spectrum?
His new team would be none other than the Kings, who last visited the postseason promised land in 2006.
Last year, they had two coaches: Luke Walton, fired in November, and interim man Alvin Gentry, since moved into the front office.
But Brown doesn’t seem to care about all that noise.
“I’m here to win, first and foremost, and I’m going to embrace that,” he said, via Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. “We’re all going to embrace that, so the excitement level for that is here. … It’s about winning, and when you taste that, it’s addicting and I want more of it.”
Brown, 52, has been NBA coach before, and even guided the LeBron James-led Cavaliers to a Finals appearance in 2007 (they were promptly swept by the Spurs). Brown has actually coached James, the late Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, and then Kyrie Irving with the Cavs.
He also knows defense, as his Cavs teams were typically among the most difficult to score against during both of his runs. They were scrappy, and played the relatively ugly brand of basketball that Brown covets.
In Sacramento, it’s a bit different. The Kings finished 30-52 last season and … yes, missed the playoffs again. They didn’t even get a spot in the play-in tournament.
No matter how much the NBA expands the odds of making the playoffs, the Kings just haven’t been able to get in.
The Kings are also armed with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft — which they may or may not keep, as we’ve relayed. They may use it to try to land a “win-now” veteran, and given where they hope to be next season, that may make the best sense.
Either way, Brown is here now, becoming their 12th head coach since their last playoff appearance, trying to work some basketball magic.
“Every organization out there, in my opinion, has a soul…a soul,” he said. “And the stronger that soul is, the better that organization will be.”
Brown has compiled a 347-216 overall record in six seasons with the Cavs (2005-10, 2013-14) and one-plus years with the Lakers (2011-13).