Draymond Green identifies where Kings coach Mike Brown is missed most

Draymond identifies what really makes Brown irreplaceable originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — From the time that Mike Brown accepted the Sacramento Kings‘ head coaching job in the middle of the Warriors’ championship run last season to throughout the 2022-23 regular season and even going into the heated first-round playoff matchup between these two Northern California rivals, Warriors players and coaches have thrown a praise party for their former assistant.

But where has Brown been missed most? Sure, defense is part of the answer. The Warriors finished this season 17th in defensive rating and 21st in opponent’s points per game. Last season under Brown’s tutelage as their defensive coordinator, the Warriors were first in defensive rating and third in opponent’s points per game.

Brown is in his 22nd season as an NBA coach, and his ninth as a head coach. The Xs and Os are part of the equation. His main value comes before standing in front of a whiteboard or writing anything down on a clipboard.

“His voice,” Draymond Green said Thursday after Warriors practice at Chase Center. “No. 1, his voice, especially when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. He’s super intense.”

Sound like anybody else?

Green gravitated towards Brown’s fire on the defensive side. Draymond was named Defensive Player of the Year in Brown’s first season as an assistant on Steve Kerr’s staff and led the league in steals. The future Hall of Famer made the All-Defensive team five times in Brown’s six seasons with the Warriors.

There of course was a mutual respect for one another. Brown had made it to the NBA Finals as a head coach six years before Green was even drafted by Golden State. He already had a Coach of the Year trophy on his mantle and likely will add another this season.

Whether it’s Tom Izzo at Michigan State, Kerr, Brown or anybody else, trust has to be earned through authenticity for Green. That trait can’t be questioned when it comes to Brown. Before the Kings’ historic season even began, Brown went viral for being exactly who he is at practice, showcasing what Green can never forget.

“Hey! Turn on the f–king jets,” Brown yelled while sprinting down the Kings’ practice court. “Turn the f–king jets on! Turn the f–king jets on!”

Right there, the foundation was set. The Kings lost four straight games to start the season. Never mind that. Brown made it clear what direction this franchise was headed.

It wasn’t going to be slow, and it wasn’t going to be backward.

“When you have someone that intense, you feel that,” Green said. “You feel that on a daily basis, the accountability. Anyone that’s held you accountable to something in your life, you feel that to a different extent than to someone who just let you give up.

“Not that our coaching staff now will let us get by, but some people have that knack where you just hear their voice all the time. I realized years ago, even when he was on offense, when he started talking about defense he started dripping sweat.

“You’d be like, ‘Man, he’s really passionate about that.’ I think anything in life, when someone’s passionate about something, you feel that passion.”

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There will be love, respect and no animosity come Saturday night in Sacramento. With every plea to the referees, with every demand for greatness from players and coaches alike, passion from Brown and Green will radiate throughout Golden 1 Center.

Behind every emotion will be mutual respect between the two, friendly foes fighting for greatness. Each will want different results. Both know their dedication brings the best out of them and so many others on a basketball court.

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