Kings coach Mike Brown goes on epic postgame rant complete with video breakdowns after ejection vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE — Earning an equal share of the spotlight on a night when Damian Lillard hits an overtime buzzer beater from 30 feet against your team is a difficult feat, but Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown pulled it off with a fiery ejection and a never-before-seen postgame press conference performance.

Minutes after his team had its collective heart broken by Lillard’s heroics, Brown walked into the visitor’s media room ready to put on a show, props and all.

“I just wanna show you guys why I got kicked out of the game,” Brown said as he opened his laptop.

What followed was part rant, part film session and part performance art. For well over five minutes, Brown opined about the lack of consistency in officiating, broke down clips and pantomimed players’ actions.

Mike busted out the film to break down why he got ejected tonight 😂

— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 15, 2024
If a fine comes his way, it will have been well-earned.

With just under 10 minutes to play in regulation of his team’s 143-142 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Brown was ejected for an on-court tirade that saw him accidentally collide with Bucks forward Pat Connaughton and get face-to-face with an official before he was pulled away by Malik Monk.

Mike Brown had to be held back by Malik Monk after he was ejected from tonight’s game 😬

— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 15, 2024
The inciting incident was a play where Brown thought his point guard, De’Aaron Fox, had been fouled. His frustration had been building all night long, however.

“This is in third quarter with 1:28 left,” Brown explained. “Go back and watch. Fox barely puts his hand on Dame’s hip. Incidental contact. He didn’t push him or anything. He barely puts his hand there, and they give him three free throws.”

“At the half, I think we were down 19-5 in free throws, 19-5,” Brown remarked. “I know that happens sometimes, but it’s very frustrating — when at the end of the half, from what I get told all the time, Malik drives and Lopez comes over and goes vertical with the forearm down here.”

While this was initially called a foul on Lopez, the Bucks successfully challenged the play and the call was overturned.

“From what the NBA tells me the rule is, when you go vertical, you’ve got to have two hands up,” Brown said. “Because [Domantas Sabonis] has his hand down [in the mid-section] a lot and they call him for it every time and they always tell us, ‘Well you got a forearm [in the mid-section].’ And tonight, they said the forearm could be [in the mid-section] as long as it’s not extended, so I don’t know what the rules are in this situation. I need clarification, because, again, two hands up is what the rule is on verticality, but they were here [hand up) and they said Lopez could do this. That’s a five-point swing. They take away the two free throws and then Milwaukee goes down and hits a three.

“And to end the half at 19-5, that’s tough to deal with, especially when you’re getting told different interpretations on rules. So now, I go back and they call this foul, they call this foul again on Fox. And then, he didn’t push him. They said it’s supposed to be incidental contact, and they give him three free throws.”

At this point, Brown again showed the foul on Fox from the third quarter.

“Now, watch this right here,” Brown said. “Fox comes off a pick-and-roll. The kid, [Cameron Payne], hooks him, hooks Fox’s arm. Look at Fox’s arm when he spins off of this. Hooks his arm. He almost falls. No incidental contact. He hooks his arm and almost falls, and there’s no foul. To me, as a coach … look again, he almost falls. And that’s in the fourth quarter at the 9:32 mark.”

This is the play that got Brown ejected:

“The referees are human, and they’re going to make mistakes, but you just hope that A) there’s some sort of consistency and B) there’s some sort of communication between the refs,” Brown added. “And the refs tonight, they were great, they communicated with me all night. But in terms of consistency, you guys saw it right here. Dame coming off the pick-and-roll and Foxy getting hooked and almost falling coming off the pick-and-roll.

“And, on top of that, if you get communication and you get some form of consistency in the game, OK, then you can live with some things. But the consistency that I [saw] tonight — wasn’t in my opinion — there. And then, I don’t understand the rule, if the rule is you’ve got to go vertical both hands up, how can you take away two free throws with a guy with his forearm down here? If they’re going to change the rule on me and say, ‘OK the forearm can be down here, and another one can be up there,’ then all right I know that going forward. But that’s not what the rule is, because we get called on [Sabonis] all the time and they tell us he’s got to have both hands up if you want to go vertical. That’s why I got kicked out.”

The Kings were down by 10 at the time of Brown’s ejection, and seemed to be spurred to life. They came all the way back to force overtime on a clutch layup by Fox in the final seconds of regulation, and should have went on to win in overtime had they not missed three key free throws at the end of the extra frame.

Instead, they watched as Lillard and his patented “Dame Time” celebration ended the game at the buzzer. The loss puts the Kings, who are 6-4 over their last 10 games, at 23-16. Sacramento currently holds the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference, and is just one ahead in the loss column from the Dallas Mavericks (23-17), owners of the first Play-In Tournament position.

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