Kings hire Mike Brown as new coach

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

A person familiar with the decision confirmed Sunday that Brown will take over the franchise with the longest playoff drought in NBA history. The person spoke on condition of anonymity as the team had not announced the hiring.

ESPN first reported that Brown would get the job. Brown previously held two stints as head coach in Cleveland, where he led the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals, and one stint as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brown is expected to remain with the Warriors for the remainder of their playoff run before making the brief move to Sacramento, where he will be the latest former Golden State coach to take over the Kings.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive took over the franchise in 2013 after being a minority owner with the Warriors and immediately hired Michael Malone from the Golden State staff as his 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 after Walton was sacked last November.

Neither move has resulted in success for the NBA’s underperforming franchise of the past 16 years.

The Kings have failed to make the playoffs in either of those seasons, setting the record for the longest drought in NBA history. They went 30-52 under Walton and Gentry last season with their .366 win ratio being their worst since the 2017-18 season.

The Kings have had only one successful streak since moving to Sacramento in 1985, making the playoffs in all eight seasons under coach Rick Adelman from 1999-2006. Adelman was fired in 2006 and remains the only Sacramento-era coach to set a winning record in any season.

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 sophomore season before being swept by the Spurs. He was fired in 2010 after winning 127 games in the previous two years but failing to make the finals.

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

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

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

Brown is taking over a team that has conceded the second most points in the NBA, despite being taken down by rookie Davion Mitchell at that end of the court.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox has been in and out of the lineup, missing 23 games with a variety of injuries. Two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis arrived in a deadline deal from general manager Monte McNair. Sabonis made a splash in Sacramento before sitting out the last nine games with a knee injury.


Despite bringing some order to the front office, McNair has still not been able to build a roster capable of fighting for a playoff spot.


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Nate Jones

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