While the Golden State Warriors are chasing title No. 7 for the franchise, associate head coach Mike Brown is simultaneously pursuing another goal. Specifically, he’s looking to move into the first chair on the bench for another NBA team.
Brown has interviewed with the Kings and, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he joins a group of finalists for Sacramento’s open head-coaching position that includes Steve Clifford and former Dubs headman Mark Jackson. Not only that — Brown is apparently chomping at the bit to accept the position, should it be offered.
“Mike is willing to take the job based on the fact that he knows he’ll be supported and have a chance to win,” said Brown’s agent, Warren LeGarie, via the Sacramento Bee. “He sees this as a good job and looks forward to being asked to be the head coach.”
Meanwhile, one league executive believes that Brown could be an asset for the Kings and also that he’s worthy of another head-coaching opportunity.
East Exec Sounds off on Brown as HC
A member of an Eastern Conference team’s front office made it clear to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that Brown has benefited from his time on the Warriors’ bench.
“We saw it with Alvin Gentry, the Warriors are a great team to go to if you want to sort of revive your reputation as a coach,” said the executive. “Sit next to Steve Kerr, have the team play great D, score a lot of points and suddenly everyone wants you again.”
The exec noted that Brown’s first coaching stint with the LeBron James-led Cavs may have been an albatross around his neck previously. However, they’re of the opinion that he still has a lot to offer as a head coach.
Moreover, Brown has likely grown a lot since his last stint as the top guy, according to the exec.
“One thing that held Mike back was the fact that LeBron was down on him at the end [in 2010] in Cleveland. That stuck with him. His offense was simple, but he is a very good defensive coach and if you’re a team whose defense has been a mess — like Sacramento — he is someone who of course you should be looking at,” the exec said.
“Thing is, you don’t want to stick a guy with a reputation after one stint as a head coach. Coaches grow and mature and get better. I think of Jason Kidd, he was toxic after Milwaukee. But he’s done a great job in Dallas. Dwane Casey, Michael Malone. Players get better, so do coaches.”
The latest Golden State Warriors news straight to your inbox! Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Brown’s Résumé Is Better Than You Might Think
Over parts of eight seasons as a head coach with the Cavs and Lakers, Brown compiled an impressive record of 347-216. In 2009, he was recognized as the Association’s Coach of the Year after directing Cleveland to a league-best 66-16 record. He also teamed up with LeBron to get the Cavs to the 2007 NBA Finals.
More recently, he served as the Dubs’ acting coach during the 2017 playoffs when Kerr was out with back issues. In doing so, he led the team to an impressive 13-0 record. Golden State went on to defeat James, Kyrie Irving and the Cavs in the Finals, netting Brown his second championship ring as an assistant.
Ring No. 1 came in 2003 while he was serving under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. He also earned a ring with the Warriors in 2018.