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Mike Brown has established a next-man-up culture for Kings

Every night, it seems like its been a different King that steps up.

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

On Wednesday, it was Richaun Holmes, on Sunday, it was Davion Mitchell and on other nights, it’s been someone else. With each Sacramento Kings win, there is a different unexpected player who steps up in a major way.

The Kings, now sitting in the third seed in the west with a 25-18 record, have been led first and foremost by potential All-Stars Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. However, the game-to-game contributions of guys across the rest of the roster have been a major reason for the team’s success to this point.

Mike Brown and the coaching staff deserve a huge amount of credit for getting buy-in across the entire roster and having guys ready to step in whenever their name is called.

Wednesday’s 116-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers was a great example of this. Missing their most important player and offensive fulcrum, Domantas Sabonis, the Kings got pivotal minutes from Holmes, who, for most of the season, has been glued to the bench.

Holmes finished with a season-high 16 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting and made the two biggest free throws of the game to secure the win for Sacramento.

If anyone could be justifiably pouty with their role this year, it would be Holmes. After being a mainstay at the starting center position for the last three seasons, Holmes has had stretches of weeks where he didn’t appear in a game. From all accounts, Holmes has not sulked. In fact, he’s done the opposite.

The fact that Holmes was ready to step in and play a big role speaks a lot about him and the culture Brown has helped to establish.

‘Culture’ is a buzzword in the NBA and sports in general, but without a question, Brown and the coaching staff have established just that in his short time with the Kings.

It’s a bit of a chicken or the egg situation. Do players buy into their roles and then teams start winning? Or do teams win and then players buy into their roles? Either way, Brown and Co. seem to have full buy-in across the roster.

Kings teams of the past were chalked full of bad vibes and guys who were visibly unhappy with their role and, at times, vocally. There hasn’t been any of that this year, which honestly feels a bit strange given how often that’s been a theme in Sacramento.

The Defensive Player of the Game chain the Kings have been giving out to different players after wins is an example of this.

Of course, it's a lot easier to be on board with catching DNPs when your team is winning games, so we will see if the overall attitude changes once the team starts losing some more games.

If the Kings continue on this winning path toward the playoffs, then Brown has to be one of the leading candidates for Coach of The Year, if not the favorite.