Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown won two awards in as many days for the Kings franchise as he drove to a unanimous vote for NBA Coach of the Year, announced on TNT Wednesday night.
“These honors don’t come along very often, so you appreciate them,” Brown said during an interview on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” after being named the award winner.
Brown, who led Sacramento to its first playoff spot since 2006 in his first year at the helm of the Kings this season, follows De’Aaron Fox, who won the inaugural NBA Jerry West Clutch Player of the Year award on Tuesday.
Brown claimed every one of the 100 first-place votes for the Red Auerbach Trophy, redesigned this year as part of an NBA awards overhaul. Brown becomes the first unanimous winner of the NBA’s Coach of the Year award.
As a result, Brown passed Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daignault, who led the Thunder to a play-in tournament, and Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, who led Boston to the second-best record in the NBA after taking over from Ime Udoka days ago Beginning of training camp after Udoka was suspended for the season for multiple team rule violations. Daignault and Mazzulla finished second and third, respectively, and 11 other coaches received at least one vote for second or third place.
“I had to make sure I understood their strengths and I had to accept that I could play to their strengths,” Brown said when asked how he would handle his new team in the fall.
He was also asked on the show about the NBA’s decision to suspend Draymond Green for Game 3 of Sacramento’s first-round series against the Warriors after he stepped on Kings star Domantas Sabonis and was thrown out of Game 2. The Kings will have a 2-0 lead in series on Thursday. Brown spent the last few years as Steve Kerr’s senior assistant with the Warriors.
Brown said Sabonis is “fine” and will play in Game 3.
“I told our boys that,” Brown said. “We have to control two things… we have to control our physical level and that has to be different from the regular season because we haven’t been good in that area.
“And then I said we have to play with pace. So I yelled at our guys that we have to do the two Ps.”
Brown’s Coach of the Year award follows Fox, who won Tuesday’s Clutch Player Award, and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who won Monday’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. The NBA will announce the winner of the Sixth Man of the Year Award on Thursday.