Huerter, McNair detail what sets Brown apart from other NBA coaches

Huerter, McNair detail what sets Brown apart from other NBA coaches originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Mike Brown was a foundational piece of ushering in a new era of basketball in Sacramento, running away with the NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first season with the Kings.

But what exactly is it about Brown that allowed him to galvanize the Kings and their fanbase en route to their first playoff appearance in 16 years?

During an exclusive interview with NBC Sports California’s Morgan Ragan, Kevin Huerter revealed why it has been easy for him and his teammates to buy into Brown since day one.

“For me, something I respect about Mike is he coaches really hard,” Huerter said. “He coaches De’Aaron [Fox] really hard, he coaches Domas [Sabonis] really hard, and he coaches some of the G League guys who are coming up and down really hard. But really, 1-15 he coaches you, he’s not afraid to do that. I think there’s coaches at different levels that don’t know how to get on certain guys, or don’t know how to coach hard, or bring the most out of you. I think he’s comfortable enough in what he’s teaching and how long he’s been around, and who he’s coached before, there’s not anybody that he’s afraid to coach. So I respect that about him, it’s a huge piece that goes into our team.”

President of basketball operations Monte McNair echoed a similar sentiment, stressing the importance of Brown’s ability to deliver a balanced approach that resonates with all of his players.

“I’ve always said that the thing that makes coach Brown so special is his ability to coach guys hard and get the most out of them, hold them accountable, and then guys love him and want to play for him,” McNair said. “Some coaches it’s hard, maybe you can’t hold guys accountable, you’re more of a players coach. Maybe you can really get on guys but it wears thin after a while. To have that balance is much easier said than done, and I think coach Brown has proved it in multiple stops.”

McNair also touched on Brown’s propensity to not play favorites, coaching his stars with the same fire and intensity he shows the players on the back end of the roster.

“He’s coached some of the best players ever to play this game,” McNair said. “We’ve got two All-NBA guys here and he coaches them just as hard as now the 16th, 17th, and 18th guys on our roster, and in some ways harder.”

Brown oversaw an 18-win improvement during his first year in Sacramento, leading the Kings to the No. 3 Western Conference playoff seed behind a high-powered offense that led the NBA with 120.7 points per game.

Beyond the on-court achievements, perhaps the most valuable contribution from Brown has been instilling a resounding belief that the Kings belong in the upper-echelon of NBA teams.

After suffering through multiple decades of futility, Sacramento is now a force to be reckoned with in the NBA landscape, with Brown pushing all the right buttons to propel them into serious contention.


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