Mike Brown on JaVale McGee’s early impact in training camp

Oct 3, 2023, 1:24 PM

Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown shouts to his team during their game against the Phoenix Sun...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

At long last, the Sacramento Kings took the practice floor for the first time since April as training camp for the 2023-24 regular season tipped off at Golden 1 Center.

The NBA’s reigning Coach of the Year, spoke to the media following Tuesday’s practice to share how he felt his team performed during its first day of practice, discuss rookie forward Sasha Vezenkov’s fit for this roster, and much more.

Brown also explained how he thinks recently-signed center JaVale McGee can bring value to the team with his professionalism, experience, and shot-blocking ability.

YouTube video

Brown on how the Kings performed during Day 1 of training camp

“The guys worked hard, they tried to do what we asked them to do, spirit was good, connectivity was good. I thought it was a good first day.”

Brown on what he wants his team to accomplish during camp

“We want to continue laying the foundation and work on the narrative of who we are. We’re going to play fast, we did it all last season. We want to see if we can play faster. We want to be more physical, so I wanted to see that today. I saw it a little bit, but we can up it in that area.”

Brown on JaVale McGee’s early impact

“He’s an NBA champion. He’s been around the block. He has a great feel for what’s right and what’s wrong. He’s got a fantastic presence, and he’s not afraid. Those are some of the characteristics that you have to have in order to be able to speak up in front of the group.”

Brown on McGee’s defensive skillset

“He’s going to have to play the right way. He’s different than what we had last year with his length, his ability to block shots and discourage shots at the rim. He’s also vocal, so we need him to be vocal, we need him to step up on that end of the floor in order for us to take that next step as a unit defensively.”

About Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown

In his first year with the organization during the 2022-23 season, Brown led the Kings to a top-three finish in the Western Conference standings, a record of 48-34, the team’s first Pacific Division title since 2003, and first playoff appearance in 17 years.

The 53-year-old is the first Kings head coach to win Coach of the Year since Cotton Fitzsimmons secured the award in 1978-79 when the franchise was located in Kansas City, Missouri. Brown is also just the third coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Fitzsimmons and Phil Johnson (1974-75).

Brown, who previously was named Coach of the Year following the 2008-09 season while coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers, is one of 11 head coaches in NBA history to win the award more than once:

  • Don Nelson (3)
  • Pat Riley (3)
  • Gregg Popovich (3)
  • Gene Shue (2)
  • Hubie Brown (2)
  • Bill Fitch (2)
  • Cotton Fitzsimmons (2)
  • Mike D’Antoni (2)
  • Mike Budenholzer (2)
  • Tom Thibodeau (2)
  • Mike Brown (2)

For a franchise that needed badly needed a culture change and a change in direction, Brown has done that with his winning attitude, the expectation of success, and drive to win.

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule

  • Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason Opener)
  • Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
  • Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule

  • Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
  • Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM (Season Opener)
  • Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)

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