The Sacramento Kings have been one of the best stories in the NBA this season, and their head coach Mike Brown is being rewarded for his efforts in turning the franchise’s fortunes around.
On Thursday afternoon, it was announced that Brown had been voted the NBA’s Coach of the Year.
Mike Brown Named NBA Coach Of The Year
After leading his team back to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2006, Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown has been voted the National Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year, sources told @wojespn. pic.twitter.com/BU8Ffk8sDn
— ESPN (@espn) April 13, 2023
Mike Brown arrived last off-season to a city starved for success. The Kings hadn’t qualified for the playoffs in 16 straight seasons, the longest current streak in North American sports. The team had a passionate fan base that was itching to get back to the glory days, or at the very least see some marked improvement from year to year.
The jump that Sacramento has taken in 2022-23 has been nothing short of impressive. They are led by De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, who are the team’s first All-Stars since Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic that are not named DeMarcus Cousins. They boasted statistically the best offense in NBA history this season, and had the best road record of any team in the Western Conference.
The Pacific Division has teams like the Warriors and Suns, and players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, and Devin Booker. And yet, it was the Sacramento Kings who ended up taking the top spot.
Sacramento Kings Turnaround Has Been Impressive
New poster outside of Golden 1 Center at DoCo of the Sacramento Kings for the NBA Playoffs 👀 pic.twitter.com/BC40FMQCwN
— Cameron Salerno (@cameronsalerno1) April 11, 2023
The team finished with 48 wins, an 18-game improvement over last year and their highest total since the 2004-05 season. And most importantly for the team and their fan base, they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades.
They’ll face quite the test in the first round, as they’ll be matched up with the defending champion Golden State Warriors and are underdogs despite being the higher seed. Game 1 tips off on Saturday at 5:30PM Pacific.
While the players on the Kings roster may be inexperienced when it comes to the playoffs, Mike Brown is no stranger to the intensity of the post season. He was a Spurs assistant coach in the early 2000s, and coached LeBron James and the Cavaliers for 6 years during James’ first stint. Most recently, he spent time as an assistant with the Warriors, where he won three of his four NBA Championships as an assistant coach.
It is Brown’s second time winning the Coach of the Year award, as he won it in 2009 as well, when the Cavaliers won 61 games.
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