After struggling early in the 2022-23 season, the Sacramento Kings have hit their stride, winning seven of their last 10 games. The team has new head coach Mike Brown to thank for its recent success. Even Kevin Durant is in awe of the Kings-Brown pairing and how the coach has been able to get the best out of a deep Kings roster.
"It's a great choice by Mike to choose the Sacramento Kings," said Durant when asked about Brown. "And it was great by Sacramento to give Mike a chance because he's been a part of championship groups the last six, seven years. Just a perfect pairing I think."
Brown has been in the league since 1997. In 2000, he became part of the legendary Gregg Popovich coaching tree after getting hired as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. He helped the franchise win the NBA championship in 2003.
Through the following years, Brown had head coaching stints for a couple of organizations, including the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers and a star-studded Los Angeles Lakers squad in the 2011-12 season. Although he won the 2009 Coach of the Year award, Brown failed to clinch a title as a head coach.
In 2016, Brown was named the associate head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He won three more championships (2017, 2018, and 2022) with the team, the first two of which featured Durant on the roster.
Bringing his championship pedigree to Sactown
The past offseason saw the 52-year-old jump on another chance to become a head coach by agreeing to helm a disappointing Kings franchise.
Although his Sacramento tenure got off to a rocky start, the organization has turned things around, as it has a record of 7-6 and ranks eighth in the West.
There is still plenty of basketball to be played this season. However, at present, the Kings can claim something no one expected.
And thanks to Brown, along with All-Star performances from De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and a surprisingly deep roster, the Kings have one of the top offenses in the Association.
It will be interesting to see if Brown can keep Sacramento playing this well. If so, then the team known for being the NBA's laughingstock could have a chance to finally break a playoff drought that dates back to 2006.