Life moves fast in the NBA.
Less than 24 hours after the Warriors celebrated their 2022 championship with Dub Nation on Market Street in San Francisco, the Sacramento Kings introduced former Golden State assistant coach Mike Brown as their new head coach.
During Tuesday’s press conference with reporters, Brown started off by thanking the Warriors organization. The Athletic's Anthony Slater shared some of the top moments from his presser.
“First of all, I’d like to start out by thanking everybody in Warrior land,” Brown said. “I’ll tell you what, the fans there were terrific, they embraced me from Day 1. (Owners) Joe Lacob, Peter Guber, (general manager) Bob Myers, (head coach) Steve Kerr, the rest of the coaching staff and particularly the players. I always think that this is players’ league and the players we have down there are very special. Thank all those guys.”
Anyone else catch that “we” he dropped? Can’t blame Brown for the Freudian slip after he spent the past six seasons as Kerr’s trusted top assistant at Golden State. He definitely went out in style on Monday.
"Fantastic time," Brown said of the parade. "It just gets better every single time. Yesterday was sweet, for sure."
It’s only about a 90-minute drive from Chase Center in San Francisco to Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, but the Warriors and Kings might as well be worlds away from each other. The Warriors are still buzzing off their fourth title in eight years, while the Kings are riding the longest playoff drought in NBA history at 16 seasons.
"We gotta get one for the thumb. I only got four," Brown said, referring to another championship ring.
The franchise stupefied a lot of people around the NBA in March when it traded away promising 22-year-old point guard Tyrese Haliburton to the Indiana Pacers in a package centered around Domantas Sabonis. Brown’s nucleus includes Sabonis, explosive guard De'Aaron Fox, former Warriors wing Harrison Barnes and big man Richaun Holmes.
The Kings have been waiting patiently to introduce Brown since he was named their new head coach on May 9. That evening, Kerr was sidelined due to COVID, so Brown coached the Warriors to a 101-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Brown finished with a 2-1 mark as Kerr's replacement, leading the Warriors to a series-clinching victory in Game 6.
Kerr will have to find another coach to replace Brown, who essentially took over as the Warriors’ defensive coordinator in 2021-22 and helped the squad achieve the second best defensive rating (106.6) in the regular season. While Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson spurned the Charlotte Hornets job after reported disagreements with the front office, Brown has officially made the leap to the state’s capital.