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Coach Mike Brown deserves all the credit for Kings success

The players have bought into coach Mike Brown’s system, and the team is flourishing.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings are heading into this new month with a 11-9 record while also sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference. It’s been a long, long, LONG 16-year drought since the Kings have even been considered a relevant team in the NBA.

I’ve been covering this team for nearly a decade now and this is truly the most fun I’ve had. More than just the team winning, but it’s the play style of this team.

Since the Kings drafted De’Aaron Fox back in 2017, every one of the team’s previous coaches have tried to implement this “space-and-pace” playstyle, all of which failed to make their game plan work. Here comes Mike Brown who once again begins talking highly about running that same system, but this time it felt a bit different. It seemed clear he was going to bring a bit of a twist.

Brown was also going to focus on not just working on the King’s full-court speed, but also work on bringing in half-court sets into his offensive gameplan. He deserves all of the credit for this.

Early this offseason while speaking with Coach Nick of BBallBreakdown on The Kings Court Podcast, we discussed coach Brown’s history of implementing the Princeton offense in his previous head coaching positions. After 20 games, it’s clear he’s brought the Princeton to Sacramento as well, and the Kings are flourishing because of it.

The Kings have been in need of a sense of discipline and structure. There was a glimpse of it when now Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was at the helm but nothing to this nature.

“It was long overdue for Mike Brown to get another chance at a head coach. The rep on him was good defensive coach, he wants to grind the game down, he’ll install a system and he’ll get everyone to run that system. Very basic. And I was like, “that’s exactly what the Kings need.” Like here’s the rules, follow the rules.”

- Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post

Zach hit this perfectly when it came to the Kings. Nothing ever seemed to be stable for the franchise. The Kings weren’t a team where anyone was truly clamoring to take on the vacant head coaching position in Sacramento. Instability and the need to find a scapegoat is why many viewed this team as a gamble when trying to take on that next step in their coaching careers.

After winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors last season, coach Brown seems to have approached this with a different mindset. He has taken the reigns as the leader and stable voice of the franchise. Since the moment he walked into his introductory press conference, coach Brown brought that stability and even spoke about how he would do that, “by leading in three areas” which are:

  1. Creating a vertical and horizontal level of trust among all the units of an organization
  2. Creating a set of core values
  3. Embracement of your role

From the top of the franchise down to the 15-man roster, coach Brown took on a huge role in bringing in this voice and this look of unity, which has clearly made an impression on the level of play we’ve all got to see on the floor. Even away from the hardwood, there hasn’t been much in the news cycle surrounding division or leaks about this team. It’s been a clear message of working to get better and building a culture.

It’s too early to truly start looking at this team and solidifying them as true playoff team, but what we can say about this Sacramento Kings franchise is that they are finally taking steps forward, and Mike Brown deserves all the credit.