When Mike Brown took the Sacramento Kings job ten months ago, he wasn’t interested in making promises and grand predictions. Instead, he said he was focused on bringing leadership to his new side. The only things he talked about were culture, work, and winning.
The First Unanimous Winner of the Coach of the Year Award
Fast forward to the present and the Sacramento Kings coach has guided his team to the NBA playoffs, for the first time since the 2006 season. The impressive regular-season record and top-notch performances against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs show that Brown’s approach worked.
So, the fact that Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year award by unanimous vote should come as no surprise. All 100 voters backed the former Cavs coach as their first choice for the recognition, making him the first unanimous winner of the award in NBA history.
This is Brown’s second Coach of the Year award. He was named the top NBA coach in 2009 when LeBron James guided the Cleveland Cavaliers to an impressive 66-16 record in the regular season.
Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault came second in the voting results but was trailing as many as 336 points behind Brown. Joe Mazzulla from the Boston Celtics was third, Cleveland’s J.B. Bickerstaff was fourth, and Michael Malone from Denver came fifth.
The Last Time the Kings Were this Good Was in 2004
Brown said he knew that NBA honors didn’t come around often and appreciated winning the award. He credited Sacramento, the city, and the Kings’ fans for being amazing and playing a big part in his success this season.
The Sacramento Kings had the seventh-best record in the league (48-34). The last time the Kings were in the top seven teams in the NBA was in the 2003-04 season.
Their points-per-game stats were second to none and they had the best away record in the Western Conference. They also won their first division title for the first time in twenty years.