Truthfully, was it ever really in doubt?
Sources have confirmed that the Sacramento Kings are hiring Warriors assistant Mike Brown to be their new head coach heading into the 2022-23 season. Brown will be the team’s 12th head coach since Rick Adelman was let go back in 2006.
Brown, 52, spent eight seasons as head coach for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers before spending the past seven seasons working under Steve Kerr in Golden State. He has amassed an impressive 347-216 (.616) record in his head coaching career in the NBA.
Leading up to the team’s decision, there was a lot of chatter about the other candidate, Mark Jackson, and his position as the front-runner. However, it was obvious that most of that chatter was being sourced from the Jackson camp and his co-workers at ESPN where he is currently a TV analyst.
Let’s be honest, Jackson really wanted the head job with the Lakers and all the Sacramento talk was just an attempt to leverage his position. Not as if the Kings have not been used for leverage before, but Sacramento fans had to endure a week of speculation and worry before the candidate they preferred was finally revealed on Sunday.
The Brown decision was obvious in so many ways.
It showed that GM Monte McNair is truly in charge of basketball decisions in Sacramento and not owner Vivek Ranadive, who was repeatedly reported as preferring Jackson. The Brown hire silences any further question about who is making the final call now.
Brown has been a successful coach throughout his career, his only blemish was his short tenure with the Lakers where he was handed a team with an aging super-star (Kobe Bryant) and unrealistic expectations following the departure of the much beloved head coach Phil Jackson. He deserved another chance following such an impossible situation.
Brown is known as a defense-first coach and this Sacramento squad desperately needs to refocus on defense if it hopes to get anywhere near the playoffs next season.
Brown will start his new head coaching duties in Sacramentoonce the Warriors current playoff run has ended.
A couple of current Kings players have worked with Brown in the past. Center Damian Jones was a member of the Warriors from 2016-19, and Chimezie Metu was a member of the Nigeria national team in 2020 where Brown was the head coach.
The attention now turns to the May 17 Draft Lottery, the June NBA Draft, as well as summer free-agency and trades. Much more needs to be decided by the Kings before next season, but step #1 is now complete.