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Kings hire Mike Brown as new coach

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The Sacramento Kings have agreed to hire Golden State assistant Mike Brown as head coach.

A person familiar with the decision confirmed Sunday that Brown would return to the franchise with the longest playoff drought in NBA history. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the hiring.

ESPN first reported that Brown would get the job. Brown previously had two stints as head coach at Cleveland where he guided the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals and had a stint as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brown is expected to stay with the Warriors for the remainder of their playoff series before making the short stint in Sacramento where he will be the last former Golden State coach to take over for the Kings.


FILE – Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown gestures during an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in San Francisco, Nov. 4, 2019.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive took over the franchise in 2013 after being a minority owner with the Warriors and immediately hired Michael Malone from Golden State staff as its first head coach.

Ranadive then hired former Warriors assistant Luke Walton as head coach in 2019 and promoted former Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry to interim coach after Walton was fired last November.

None of the moves led to the success of the NBA’s worst-performing franchise in the past 16 years.

The Kings failed to qualify for the playoffs in each of those seasons, setting the record for the longest drought in NBA history. They went 30-52 last season under Walton and Gentry with their .366 winning percentage, their worst since the 2017-18 season.

Since arriving in Sacramento in 1985, the Kings have had only one successful streak, making the playoffs in all eight seasons under coach Rick Adelman from 1999 to 2006. Adelman was fired in 2006 and remains the only coach in the Sacramento era to post an all-season winning record.

Brown has a strong pedigree, having worked as an assistant under Gregg Popovich at San Antonio and Steve Kerr at Golden State.

He got his first head coaching job at Cleveland in 2005. He helped LeBron James and the Cavaliers reach the Finals in his second season before being swept away by the Spurs. He was dismissed in 2010 after winning 127 games the previous two years but failed to return to the final.

After a year off, Brown replaced Phil Jackson with the Lakers and didn’t have the success he had in Cleveland. The Lakers went 41-25 in his first season and he was fired after starting the following season 1-4.

Brown returned to Cleveland the following season and went 33-49 before being fired again after one season.

Brown was then hired in July 2016 by the Warriors to take over as senior assistant after Walton left to take over as head coach of the Lakers.

Brown takes over a team that has allowed the second-most points in the NBA despite getting a lift at that end of the field 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 on a deal with general manager Monte McNair. Sabonis caused a sensation in Sacramento before sitting out the last nine games with a knee injury.

Although McNair got the front office in order, he still wasn’t able to build a roster capable of fighting for a playoff spot.


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