The Sacramento Kings, entering their record 17th consecutive season without a postseason appearance, are turning to Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown to guide them back to the NBA Playoffs.
The Kings officially announced the move on Monday morning after reports of the pact between he and Sacramento began circulating Sunday. Brown will remain with the Warriors for the rest of their playoff run.
“Mike has consistently demonstrated his ability to lead winning teams throughout his long and successful coaching career,” Kings GM Monte McNair said in a statement released by the team. “He has worked with some of the best players in the NBA and is one of the league’s premier defensive minds. I am excited to bring his extensive experience to Sacramento.”
Welcome to Sactown, Coach Brown 👑 pic.twitter.com/KnUcdqhA88
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) May 9, 2022
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Sunday that the Kings had agreed to terms with the veteran coach, who previously helmed the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005-10, 2013-14) and the Los Angeles Lakers (2011-13).
News of the move was also reported by multiple other outlets. Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports the deal is for four years and a formal announcement of the move is expected Monday.
Brown served as an assistant with the Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers prior to his coaching stints. He joined the Warriors in 2016, in time for their second championship of the “Splash Brothers” era. He is expected to remain with the Warriors for the rest of their playoff run before making the short move to Sacramento where he will be the latest former Golden State coach to take over the Kings.
The Kings have hired Warriors assistant Mike Brown and we have you covered with wall-to-wall coverage with news, analysis and reaction. Stories by @SacBee_JoeD, @ChrisBiderman, @cameronsalerno1 and me at https://t.co/UIYvGTefLL.
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— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) May 9, 2022
Brown and Kings negotiated deal over the past 24 hours, sources said. Brown emerged in recent days as the focus of franchise’s search and now he’s tasked with helping to end the organization’s 16-year playoff drought.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2022
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive took over the franchise in 2013 after being a minority owner with the Warriors and immediately hired Michael Malone off Golden State’s staff as his first head coach.
Ranadive then hired former Warriors assistant Luke Walton has head coach in 2019 and promoted former Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry to interim coach after Walton was fired last November.
None of the moves have led to success for the NBA’s worst-performing franchise of the past 16 years.
The Kings have failed to make the playoffs in each of those seasons, setting the record for the longest drought in NBA history. They went 30-52 this past season under Walton and Gentry with their .366 winning percentage their worst since the 2017-18 season.
Since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings have had only one stretch of success, making the playoffs in all eight seasons under coach Rick Adelman from 1999-2006. Adelman was fired in 2006 and remains the only coach in the Sacramento era to post a winning record in any season.
Brown’s teams qualified for the playoffs in six of his seven full seasons as a coach, advancing past the first round in each appearance.
He comes with a strong pedigree, having worked as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and Steve Kerr in Golden State.
He got his first head coaching job in Cleveland in 2005. He helped LeBron James and the Cavaliers make the Finals in his second season before getting swept by the Spurs. He was fired in 2010 after winning 127 games the previous two years but failing to get back to The Finals.
After a year off, Brown replaced Phil Jackson with the Lakers and didn’t have nearly the success he had in Cleveland. The Lakers went 41-25 in his first season and he was fired after starting the next season 1-4.
Brown returned to Cleveland the following season and went 33-49 before getting fired again after one season.
Overall, Brown’s career record as a head coach is 347-216 (61.6%), apexing during the Cavs’ 2008-09 campaign, when they finished 66-16; Brown earned NBA Coach of the Year honors for that league-best showing. His teams are 47-36 (56.6%) in the postseason, and he led Cleveland to the NBA Finals in 2007, when they lost to the Spurs.
Brown was then hired in July 2016 by the Warriors to take over as lead assistant after Walton left to take over as head coach of the Lakers.
Brown takes over a team that allowed the second most points in the NBA despite getting a lift on that end of the court from rookie Davion Mitchell.
Point guard De’Aaron Fox was in and out of the lineup, missing 23 games with a variety of injuries. Two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis arrived in a deadline deal by general manager Monte McNair. Sabonis made a big splash in Sacramento before sitting out the final nine games with a knee injury.
Although McNair has brought some order to the front office, he still hasn’t been able to build a roster capable of contending for a playoff spot.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.