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The Sacramento Kings have been one of the more impressive teams on show in the NBA season thus far, boosting hopes that the California franchise can end a 16-year absence from the playoffs – the longest active spell away from the postseason of any NBA team.
The talk surrounding the Kings’ success goes hand in hand with the culture coach Mike Brown is working to build. He left an assistant coaching position with the Golden State Warriors to start anew as Sacramento’s 21st coach.
Brown has revealed that his strict but mobile upbringing in a military family – which included living in Japan and Germany – has helped to shape the values he has as a coach.
“I attribute a lot of my success to my upbringing,” Brown noted. “The values that [my parents] taught me helped me become the person who I am today.”
The Brown family lived on base surrounded by four-story apartment buildings, occupied by other military families where his father served more than 25 years in the Air Force. Despite the diversity between individual families, there was an overarching sense of unity.
“Everybody that lived in those buildings, their parents — their mom or their dad or both — were in the service,” Brown explained. “And because everybody was in the service, there was a commonality amongst the different families that were there.”
He added, “Everyone looked out for one another… and so you took care of one another. So having that sense of community, togetherness, accountability — not just from your family but from other families — was really, really, really huge.”
Brown continued, “My dad was enlisted — he wasn’t an officer and so he had a few people above him — but the neat part about it is I never interacted a ton with his boss.
“A lot of times he did his own thing and it wasn’t like there was some drill sergeant above his head, yelling every five minutes for him to do this [or] do that. It was like he had the assignment to do and he went and he did it.”
Brown’s father also encouraged his son’s love of basketball – the NBA, and specifically the Kings, are the current beneficiaries of this: “He knew that I liked the game and I wanted to be as good as I can, [so] after dinner he would take me to the gym and he’d rebound for me — time after time after time after time without complaining.
“That type of work ethic, in my opinion, translated to me and what I’m trying to accomplish not only with my family but also in my professional life.”
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Catch the following NBA regular season games live on ESPN this weekend…
All times CAT
Friday 9 December
- 05:00: Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets – LIVE on ESPN
Saturday 10 December
- 05:00: Dallas Mavericks v Milwaukee Bucks – LIVE on ESPN 2
Sunday 11 December
- 04:00: Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz – LIVE on ESPN 2
- 22:30: New Orleans Pelicans v Phoenix Suns – LIVE on ESPN