Mike Brown has won the 2022-23 NBA Coach of the Year award, in a unanimous vote, the NBA announced on Wednesday. Brown is in his first year coaching the Sacramento Kings, but he has already led them to one of the best seasons in franchise history. The Kings hadn’t made the postseason since 2006 before hiring Brown, but under his guidance, the team managed to win 48 games and earn the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Brown was so impressive this season that he also managed to win the National Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award.
This is the second time that Brown has won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award. The first came during his initial, successful stint as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His 2008-09 team won 66 games as he took home Coach of the Year honors while LeBron James was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. He lasted just one more season in Cleveland before his head coaching career took a turn for the worse.
With James entering free agency in 2010, the Cavaliers fired him following their postseason exit hoping to use a coaching hire to compel James to stay. It failed, and Brown was eventually hired to replace Phil Jackson as coach of the Lakers. That stint lasted just 71 games across two seasons. He returned to Cleveland a year later but again lasted just one season in his second tour with the Cavaliers. From there, he was hired as an assistant under Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors before eventually getting another chance with the Kings.
He has made the most of it. Though known as a defensive-minded coach, Brown’s Kings posted the most efficient offense in NBA history this season at 118.6 points per 100 possessions. That helped Sacramento jump from the lottery into their first playoff berth in 17 years.
The Kings had 11 total head coaches during the drought. That lack of consistency contributed to Sacramento’s nearly two decades of misery. But with Brown in place alongside franchise players De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, the Kings have built a foundation for the next half-decade and beyond.
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