Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr stands by his belief that former assistant and now head coach Mike Brown can lead the Sacramento Kings back to postseason prominence.
The Kings have been in the peculiar place of the NBA for 16 years, now they have the worst playoff drought in the four major American professional sports leagues after the MLB’s Seattle Mariners snapped their losing seasons of more than 21 years. earlier this month.
But now, under Brown’s new leadership, Kerr has nothing but optimism about the franchise’s future fortunes.
“Excited for him,” Kerr said of Brown following the Dubs’ 130-125 victory over the Kings, courtesy of Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. “It is a great opportunity. Lots of good young talent in Sacramento. I’ve seen them a few times in the preseason and early on, and he’s got them playing hard and playing at a high level. I know they’ve lost two close games so far, but they look good and I think Mike will do a great job there.”
In fact, the Kings have some promising talent headed by De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Keegan Murray, who even gave the Chase Center crowd quite a scare on Sunday.
Although the Warriors established a gargantuan lead and 89-point scorecard in the first half, the third-most points in a half in franchise history, the Kings battled to the finish. They unleashed a 15-1 blitz in the fourth and even split the Dubs’ margin to a four-point lead with a minute left. But thanks to Jordan Poole’s free throws and Andrew Wiggins’ thunderous transition dunk, the defending champions managed to maintain that control en route to their second win of the season.
“They did a good job getting back in the game, but we won, so I see the positive,” Kerr said. “We played, at times, brilliantly, and we couldn’t hold it. It was closer than it should have been, but I give Sacramento a lot of credit.
“Mike is doing a great job with those guys. They are fighting. They are competing. They have had three close losses now to start the year. They have improved a lot and we let our guard down and took advantage of it, but we got the victory and I am satisfied with that.”
Before the game, Golden State held a pregame ceremony for Brown and Leandro Barbosa to receive their championship rings, in honor of their contributions to the team’s title hunt last season.
Brown served as Kerr’s assistant from 2016-2017 through last season, adding three rings to his assistant coaching resume.
“Man, starting with (Warriors co-CEOs) Joe Lacob, Peter Gruber, Bob Myers and his crew, Steve Kerr, and then you take into account Draymond (Green) and Andre (Iguodala) and Steph (Curry) and Klay. (Thomson). and Loon (Kevon Looney) and Dot (Shaun Livingston),” Brown said of his six-year experience in the Bay Area. “I learned a lot here and was accepted immediately. All I have are good memories here. It was fantastic, I owe them a lot.
“I thank you for allowing me to be a part of this. I am beyond excited to be able to come back here and get a ring in this building at this time of year. This is fantastic for me.”