Report: Sacramento Kings ownership unhappy with Mike Brown

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings ownership is unhappy with head coach Mike Brown after the Kings failed to repeat the success of the 2022-23 season, according to James Ham.

“Brown backed up year one with a 46-36 record in year two, but the Kings fell short of the playoffs, falling in the second of two play-in tournament games,” Ham wrote. “The failure to repeat the success of the previous year hasn’t sat well with ownership, according to sources.

“This shouldn’t be a complicated matter, but like everything else in Sacramento, it is.”

Brown and the Kings earned the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference in the 2022-23 season, finishing the regular season with a 48-34 record.

Despite winning just two fewer games in the 2023-24 season, the Kings ended up in the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchup in the play-in tournament, knocking off the Golden State Warriors to advance to a winner-take-all game for the No. 8 seed.

Sacramento lost to the New Orleans Pelicans in that matchup, falling short of the playoffs for the 17th time in 18 seasons.

Prior to hiring Brown ahead of the 2022-23 season, Sacramento had not finished above .500 since the 2005-06 season, which was also the last time the Kings had made the playoffs prior to hiring Brown.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer reported last week that Brown could be looking at a massive extension due to some of the other coaching contracts handed out already.

“The outcome of the [Los Angeles] Lakers’ process, and the rest of this unfolding coaching cycle — which has already included paydays for Jason Kidd and new [Phoenix] Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer — will also provide added context for Mike Brown’s contract extension conversations in Sacramento,” Fischer wrote. “With Brown’s Coach of the Year credentials and the new benchmarks for coaching salaries after Monty Williams landed $70-plus million from Detroit and Budenholzer’s recent $10 million average annual salary, Brown’s talks are expected to center around a similar eight-figure threshold as well, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Tom Thibodeau’s own extension number in New York, sources said, is anticipated to finish in that same ballpark.”

Brown was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year last season, so it makes sense that he would want a new deal – and likely a raise – if he were to remain with the Kings.

It’s hard to blame Brown for the Kings taking a small step back, as the Western Conference was just more competitive in the 2023-24 season.

In the 2022-23 season, the Suns finished with a 45-37 record and earned the No. 4 seed. The Kings were a game better than that in the 2023-24 season, but they ended up in the No. 9 spot at the end of the regular season.

Five different Western Conference teams (the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers) won at least 50 games in the 2023-24 season while just two (Denver and the Memphis Grizzlies) did so last season.

Brown and the Kings are certainly hoping to be back in the mix for a playoff spot next season, but it will be interesting to see how ownership handles the former Coach of the Year’s future since Sacramento missed the playoffs this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.