A person familiar with the decision confirmed on Sunday that Brown will take over the franchise with the longest playoff drought in NBA history. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the hiring.
ESPN first reported that Brown would get the job. Brown previously had two stints as head coach in Cleveland where he guided the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007 and had one stint as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brown is expected to remain with the Warriors for the rest of their playoff run before making the short move to Sacramento where he will be the latest former Golden State coach to take over the Kings.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive took over the franchise in 2013 after being a minority owner with the Warriors and immediately hired Michael Malone off Golden State’s staff as his first head coach.
Ranadive then hired former Warriors assistant Luke Walton has head coach in 2019 and promoted former Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry to interim coach after Walton was fired last November.
None of the moves have led to success for the NBA’s worst-performing franchise of the past 16 years.
The Kings have failed to make the playoffs in each of those seasons, setting the record for the longest drought in NBA history. They went 30-52 this past season under Walton and Gentry with their .366 winning percentage their worst since the 2017-18 season.
Since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings have had only one stretch of success, making the playoffs in all eight seasons under coach Rick Adelman from 1999-2006. Adelman was fired in 2006 and remains the only coach in the Sacramento era to post a winning record in any season.
Brown comes with a strong pedigree, having worked as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and Steve Kerr in Golden State.
He got his first head coaching job in Cleveland in 2005. He helped LeBron James and the Cavaliers make the Finals in his second season before getting swept by the Spurs. He was fired in 2010 after winning 127 games the previous two years but failing to get back to the Finals.
After a year off, Brown replaced Phil Jackson with the Lakers and didn’t have nearly the success he had in Cleveland. The Lakers went 41-25 in his first season and he was fired after starting the next season 1-4.
Brown returned to Cleveland the following season and went 33-49 before getting fired again after one season.
Brown was then hired in July 2016 by the Warriors to take over as lead assistant after Walton left to take over as head coach of the Lakers.
Brown takes over a team that allowed the second most points in the NBA despite getting a lift on that end of the court from rookie Davion Mitchell.
Point guard De’Aaron Fox was in and out of the lineup, missing 23 games with a variety of injuries. Two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis arrived in a deadline deal by general manager Monte McNair. Sabonis made a big splash in Sacramento before sitting out the final nine games with a knee injury.
Although McNair has brought some order to the front office, he still hasn’t been able to build a roster capable of contending for a playoff spot.