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Can Kings coach motivate players the same way while playing Warriors?

Mike Brown likes to talk about what tournament prize money can buy. That might not work in the Bay Area.

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Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz - Game Three
Mike Brown coaches hard on the sidelines
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown is a master motivator. That’s part of why he won Coach of the Year last season. This year, he’s using the promise of the prize money from the in-season tournament - $500K per player and head coach of the winning team - to get his team fired up for the games in West Group C, which concludes with Tuesday’s game between the Kings and Golden State Warriors.

Sam Amick reported that Brown and his staff came up with different ways to emphasize how far $500,000 could go.

“They put up what size house you can buy in Oklahoma City for half a million dollars,” Brown said with a smile. “They put up how many bottles of red wine and white wine you can buy for half a million dollars.”

Here’s the problem with this approach for a game with the Warriors: San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. CNN ranked it the eighth-priciest city in the world, second only to New York City in the United States.

So what does $500K buy? In San Francisco, a 765-foot condo with one bedroom and one bathroom. We’re sure that’s lovely, but it pales in comparison to a four-bedroom, four-bath house on a third of an acre in OKC, complete with wood-burning fireplace and built-in bookshelves.

What if the Kings like fine dining? $500K will buy you dinner for two at Saison 377 times, if you get the tasting menu and a bottle of wine from the middle of their list. That’s a lot of deliciousness, but maybe not enough to truly get a player fired up,

How about a car? Well, the prize money could buy four of the most expensive Teslas, the Model X Plaid, and leave just enough to rent a parking space for each of them (roughly $5K per year in SF).

Perhaps the best comparison is to Sacramento’s number one enemy, Draymond Green, who returns from a five-game suspension for the big game. Winning the $500K would allow them to pay 22% of Green’s career fines, not including whatever undisclosed fine he received after punching Jordan Poole last year.

Unfortunately for Brown, coming off a suspension that cost him $769,704 in lost earnings may make Green the most motivated player in Tuesday’s game. The Kings can talk about wine or Oklahoma housing all they want, but that doesn’t compare to Green’s desire to see the league give back a big chunk of the money they’ve taken from him over the years. And the he can celebrate with dinner at Saison.

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