Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown has entered the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s unclear how many games Brown will miss, but he will almost certainly miss both home games against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and Wednesday night. After that, the Kings will host the Utah Jazz on Friday and then travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on New Year’s Eve.
According to Marc Spears of Andscape and ESPN, Brown has “mild symptoms and hopes to be cleared to coach soon.”
Brown has been a great steward for this Kings team this season, helping the team get to its current 17-14 record in his first season as head coach, which is currently good for sixth place in the Western Conference.
In Brown’s absence, assistant Jordi Fernández will be the team’s acting head coach.
Earlier this month, Brown was ejected from a game against the Toronto Raptors for arguing a foul call, and the Kings were able to rally from a double-digit deficit and win that game, with Fernández stepping into Brown’s role.
Based on interviews and reading the tea leaves, Fernández seems like a popular guy in the Kings’ locker room. At the team’s Tuesday shootaround, the team sang happy birthday to Fernández, who was celebrating his 40th on Tuesday.
Jordi Fernandez gets the birthday treatment. pic.twitter.com/oSOokI8CHe— James Ham (@James_HamNBA) December 27, 2022
Despite the negative news of Brown’s absence, this should be a good opportunity for Fernández to step up into the main role and help shepherd the team for a few games. Coincidentally, Fernández spent the last six seasons on Denver’s coaching staff alongside former Kings head coach Michael Malone.
Hopefully, the team can rally around Fernández for however long Brown is out sick and get some much-needed wins, and a victory over his former team as the Kings’ acting head coach would be quite the birthday present for Fernández to receive on Tuesday night.