Just before Mike Brown took over as coach of the Sacramento Kings last summer

he looked up a fact about one of his mentors, Gregg Popovich.

When Popovich became coach of the San Antonio Spurs in 1997, he was a few months shy of his 48th birthday (Pop turns 74 on Saturday

happy early birthday, Pop).

Popovich is now the winningest coach in NBA history.

Brown was only 52. His career was not yet defined. He had time to write a new chapter

It can be easy to cast head coaches in a certain mold and not appreciate that they mature and develop just like players

That might have happened to Brown over the past eight years. After he was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014

the third time in four years he lost a head-coaching job, he was left by the side of the coaching road

repeatedly not considered when jobs opened