By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
Now that Mike Brown has been hired as the new Sacramento Kings head coach, the real work of getting this team out of being in the lottery annually begins in earnest.
Wait … Mike Brown will not devote himself to his new role as head coach of the Kings until he completes his duties as lead assistant for Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors. It will be interesting to see how this works out because if the Warriors continue their run in the playoffs, the Dubs will be in action until mid-June.
Meanwhile, the Kings have major decisions to make concerning the draft, the roster and who to target in free agency. Brown will be sitting on the Warriors’ bench thinking about his new job and developing his staff. Steve Kerr has to be concerned about his friend and lead assistant’s concentration on the Warriors, who will soon be his rival.
Kerr should release Brown from his role with the Warriors if they defeat the Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs.
The move to hire Brown was met with widespread approval from Kings fans. His hire also leaves many Kings faithful with the impression that majority owner Vivek Ranadive may finally have released some control on basketball decisions to General Manager Monte McNair. It was widely known that Vivek preferred NBA television analyst Mark Jackson as the Kings’ next head coach after observing the superior job Jackson did in three years as head coach of the Warriors.
Most of you know Jackson was my preferred choice. Brown was my second choice and I believe that if he is provided a solid roster then the Kings may have a chance to attain their goal of reaching the playoffs.
However, in the talent-laden Western Conference, the Kings will be competing with the Los Angeles Lakers, the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs for the last spot in the 2023 playoffs.
If Brown can have success in getting these Kings to play consistent defense, which is his strength, then he and the team will be successful. We are not naïve and realize that a lot of things will have to go his way to avoid being a lottery team again. This is Brown’s fourth opportunity as a head coach (twice with the Cleveland Cavaliers, once with the Lakers). The Kings job could be his final chance to get it right
BAKER HITS MILESTONE
Congratulations to Sacramento’s own Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros. Baker on May 3 became the 12th Major League Baseball manager – and first African-American – to win 2,000 games. This is a very significant milestone considering so few Blacks have had the opportunity to manage in the major leagues. And there are only two current African-American MLB managers. I am still hoping that Dusty, who won as a player with the Dodgers in 1981, finally gets his managerial World Series ring this year!!