Mike Brown is a major reason why the Kings are in the midst of their best season in nearly 20 years, and on Thursday, the NBA acknowledged the success he is cultivating in Sacramento.
Brown was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for February, marking the first time he has won the honor since Dec. 2009 and the sixth overall of his coaching career.
News of the NBA's announcement came down shortly before Brown sat down with NBC Sports California's Kyle Draper for an interview, so the host was able to ask for an initial reaction.
In typical fashion, Brown credited those around him.
"I hate to say this because I've had some really good staffs, and this is not a knock on my staffs in the past, but it really is a testament to the guys that are on my staff right now," Brown told Draper. "And obviously the players too. You've got to have players to win in this league, but this is the best staff I've ever had. They make my job extremely, extremely easy. And I can literally turn my back and they're going to handle it and make things right.
"And when you have those types of people, not just in connecting with the players and how hard they work and how smart they work, when you have those types of people around you to be able to support you, take carry you when you need to be carried, because I've needed to be carried a few times, it just makes things so much easier. And it makes opportunities to win accolades like this a lot easier because of that group."
Brown and his coaching staff have guided the Kings to a 36-25 record entering Friday's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers. During the month of February, Sacramento went 8-4 and has won its first four games since the All-Star break.
Sacramento arguably is the NBA's most surprising team, and barring a massive collapse over the final six weeks of the season, they will end their 16-year playoff drought.
At the moment, the Kings are in third place in the Western Conference with a three-game cushion on the fourth-place Phoenix Suns. Sacramento also is just two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 seed in the West.
Brown is the third Kings coach to earn a Coach of the Month honor, joining Rick Adelman and Garry St. Jean.
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The Coach of the Month award might not be the last honor Brown takes home this season, as our betting partner, PointsBet, lists the 52-year-old as the favorite to win NBA Coach of the Year at +100 odds, ahead of Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, who has +180 odds.