Owner Vivek Ranadive preferred Mark Jackson as the coach of his team. Usually, what an owner wants, an owner gets (for better or worse).
However, the Kings will hire current Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, the preferred candidate of GM Monte McNair. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news.
The Sacramento Kings have agreed with Golden State assistant Mike Brown on a four-year contract to become the franchise’s next coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2022
Brown and the Kings have reportedly worked out a deal, but Brown will finish out the playoffs with the Warriors before moving on to Sacramento. We know Brown will take the job because his agent publicly said he would.
That an agent has to come out and publicly say, “yes, my client will take the job” says all you need to know about how this coaching job is perceived around the league. The fact that Brown got hired and the Kings went with the GM is a good sign that the organization is letting the basketball people make key basketball decisions.
Brown walks into a job with pressure — ending the Kings’ NBA record 16-year playoff drought is the priority — but in a West with the Suns, Mavericks, Warriors, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, plus teams that should get healthy and improve such as the Clippers, Nuggets and Pelicans, making the playoffs is a tall order.
There is offensive talent on the roster with All-Star Domantas Sabonis at center, the potential of De'Aaron Fox at the point, plus players such as Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell. The bigger issue is on the defensive end, where the Kings “improved” this past season to 27th in the league. Brown was hired in part because he is a defense-first coach expected to get more out of players on that end of the floor.
Brown spent six seasons as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the LeBron-led 2007 version to the NBA Finals, plus was the Lakers coach for a couple of seasons. Brown has made the playoffs six of the eight years of being a head coach.
That’s what McNair and the Suns are banking on.