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Mike Brown introduced as Sacramento Kings coach ready to embrace victory after long playoff drought

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A day after the Golden State Warriors’ championship parade in San Francisco, Mike Brown appeared 90 miles up Interstate 80 on Tuesday, introducing himself as the Sacramento Kings’ new head coach.

“I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this,” Brown said as he sat next to Kings general manager and president of basketball operations Monte McNair during his introductory news conference. “I really couldn’t show up like I wanted because of this damn press conference today.”

Though his celebration was subdued after his third title in his six years as an assistant at Golden State, Brown said he was excited to talk about his fourth chance as head coach after two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers and a spell with the Los Angeles Lakers. .

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“The potential here, I really think the potential is off the charts,” he said. “I’m excited to think about it… The players here, I’m excited.

“There’s just so many opportunities here for this place to blow up, and I want to be a part of that.”

The Kings have nowhere to go but up.

Sacramento hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2006 and finished last in the Pacific Division in seven of those 16 years. The Kings went 30-52 last season, fired Luke Walton midway through the season and then fired Alvin Gentry from his interim job after they finished 25th in offensive efficiency and 27th in defensive efficiency.

Brown headed into the lead of the playoff drought on Tuesday.

“There is no elephant in the room,” he said. “You can talk about it. We’re going to embrace that. I don’t come here to have fun, to get excited, to join the area. I come here to win. So we’re going to embrace whatever is in front of us that talks about winning. So, we look forward to it.” “.

Brown, who took the job while the Warriors were in the midst of their second-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, said he was “very involved” in taking over the Kings while the Warriors’ championship run was still ending. On Tuesday, he revealed most of his coaching staff, signing Jordi Fernandez from the Denver Nuggets, Jay Triano from the Charlotte Hornets, Luke Loucks from the Phoenix Suns and Doug Christie, a former Kings standout whom he played against in college. .

“I’ve talked to all the players on multiple occasions,” Brown said. “I’ve talked to some of them in person. I’ve talked to some of them on Zoom. Same thing with the staff that’s still around, I’ve talked to them on Zoom, I’ve talked to them on the phone several times. Obviously, Monty’s wife, she’s She’s a great lady, but from time to time she can get a little irritated with him because I think he answers my calls more than hers.

He said he used a day off between the conference finals and the NBA finals to fly to San Diego and watch point guard De’Aaron Fox train. He calls him “Foxy,” a nickname he gave him in high school when he coached him. at a basketball camp.

“Obviously I walked away impressed with his speed, but I thought he was a defensive dog,” Brown said of Fox. “So there’s going to be a lot of pressure on him coming from me, no one else, to get back to what I know can do at this level night after night.

Brown said the Warriors’ defensive success last season despite a roster full of players with limited defensive reputations shows what the Kings can do in that regard.

“People look at Steph Curry, [Nemanja Bjelica]Otto Porter, Jordan Poole, [Andrew] Wiggins in Minnesota, I mean he could follow the line of personnel that we had with the Warriors and people didn’t think they could defend,” Brown said. “And somehow, somehow, we ended up as the No. 2 defenseman in the league. . Now, will we be that next year? I don’t know. Probably not. It’s going to be a process. But I’m excited for all the guys.”

Brown also mentioned Davion Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, Domantas Sabonis and Richaun Holmes during the news conference, as well as the Kings’ No. 4 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, as reasons to be encouraged about the team’s future.

“I’m excited to be here in Sacramento,” Brown said. “I have a lot of friends who live this way. No one has said anything to me or said anything bad about the area to me. It’s always been positive. And that was even before I got the job. So, I’m excited to be in… . what is it? Sactown. Sacto. Sac. The Big Tomato, something like that. There are a lot of different nicknames for him.”

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