The Sacramento Kings picked Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown as the next head coach of their franchise. Brown, who is still in the midst of serving on Steve Kerr’s staff during the Warriors’ playoff run and filled in as acting head coach against the Memphis Grizzlies while Kerr has battled COVID-19, will be tasked with ending the longest active postseason drought in the league, as Sacramento hasn’t made it out of the regular season since 2005-06.
As it turns out, Brown won’t exactly have a ton of time to build around the core of the roster that went 30-52 last season. According to NBA journalist Marc Stein, the Kings wanted two things in whomever would be their next coach. One was that the person they hired would keep former player Doug Christie around as an assistant coach.
The other: Sacramento’s front office wants to end that playoff drought right away.
“Candidates were told that team officials are counting on a Minnesota-esque surge in the standings in Year 1 after a league-record 16 consecutive seasons out of the playoffs,” Stein wrote. “The Wolves went 46-36 in Chris Finch’s first full season on the bench to secure just the club’s second playoff berth in an 18-season span.”
A pretty major difference between Finch’s job in Minnesota and what Brown is being asked to do is that Finch was hired midseason in 2020-21 and got some time to figure his team out before they made a run in 2021-22. The Timberwolves went 16-25 in Finch’s first half of a season in charge, then rolled into this past season ready to go. Brown, meanwhile, won’t get to be around his team until Golden State’s season is over.
This past season, the Kings finished four games out of the play-in race in the Western Conference. Brown has plenty of coaching experience — he has been at the helm of both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers, and is the head coach of the Nigerian national team.