Sunday Musings: De'Aaron Fox starring under Mike Brown's tough love
Brown demanding excellence from his star point guard
The bright lights of a national audience are coming to Sacramento on Tuesday night. Maybe they are visiting to watch the train wreck that is the Brooklyn Nets. Maybe the Kings’ preseason buzz helped a little.
Either way, this is an opportunity for Mike Brown’s squad, and maybe more specifically, De’Aaron Fox, to show the NBA world what the Kings are all about.
In his sixth NBA season, Fox is flourishing through his first 10 games. It’s a small sample size, but the speedster looks different this year. With a little luck and a few extra wins for his team, it is a game like this that could help his bid for a potential All-Star spot come February.
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Throughout his 30-plus years as an assistant and head coach in the NBA, Brown has coached plenty of stars. He is known for his years with LeBron James in Cleveland, his short stint with Kobe Bryant in LA, and working with Stephen Curry the last six seasons in Golden State, but it’s the lessons learned from his time with the San Antonio Spurs that helped craft his approach to working with the game’s elite.
According to Brown, there was a moment working for legendary head coach Gregg Popovich that gave him a new perspective on working with stars. Near the end of the season, Popovich thanked Hall of Fame big man Tim Duncan for being receptive to his coaching.
“Tim’s a superstar and Pop was a younger coach at the time, he wasn’t as established,” Brown said. “Pop used to coach Tim hard, I mean, really hard. At the end of the day, if Tim did not want to listen or if Tim got upset or pissed at the way Pop was coaching him and said ‘screw him,’ then maybe Pop’s not here today. Because I’m sure that 99 percent or 100 percent of owners would take Tim Duncan over Gregg Popovich after Pop was only coaching two or three years.”
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