Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 101: Herb Santos Jr., Reno Bighorns owner, and Dee Brown, new Sacramento Kings assistant coach

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

Reno Bighorns and the Sacramento Kings form an exclusive partnership. (Photo: Reno Bighorns)

The transformation of the Sacramento Kings continued this week after they unveiled a new partnership with their D-League affiliate. Yesterday, the Kings announced a new hybrid affiliation with the Reno Bighorns, making the D-League franchise the exclusive minor league team of the Kings. We catch up with Herb Santos Jr., majority owner of the Bighorns, on this week’s show. We also catch up with Dee Brown, one of the new assistants to Michael Malone’s coaching staff. Brown was hired this week, taking on a dual role as assistant coach and director of player development. We also touch on everything free agency and trades, including Carl Landry, Luc Mbah a Moute, Monta Ellis and more.


Pressure for the Kings to form an exclusive partnership with the Bighorns began mounting when Sacramento learned that Reno had started exploring the opportunity with another NBA franchise. Santos Jr. said that when the Kings approached him and his fellow partners about working with the Bighorns, a deal between the two clubs unfolded in a matter of days.

“I can tell you that there was in my mind all pros with Sacramento. I’ve been a huge Sacramento fan since I went to law school at McGeorge Law School (at the University of Pacific) back in the late 80s. So for me, doing a hybrid with any other NBA team really wasn’t something that I was too thrilled about doing. I’ve been thrilled ever since the Kings had the relationship with the Bighorns. And so we basically let the other teams we had been communicating with know that we had made a decision to go with the Kings. And we pretty much got everything done in just a few days.”

It’s been more than 20 years since Brown’s iconic blind throwdown that won him the 1991 dunk contest. It may seem like just yesterday for him, but he looks back at that moment in NBA history as a reminder that fame is fleeting as a professional basketball player. As director of player development, that idea is something he plans on preaching to his new team.

That’s the one thing I gotta stress to these guys. Don’t take for granted that you’re going to be in the NBA forever. Before you know it, you’re going to be out either by choice or by not your choice. So enjoy every day, make sure you get better every time you step on the court. Because next thing you know, 20 (or so) years later, we’re going to be talking about you and hopefully it’s something positive that people can talk about for the future.


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Music Credit: Ronald Jenkees – Guitar Sound

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Cowbell Kingdom Podcast
The Cowbell Kingdom Podcast brings commentary, analysis and interviews focused on Sacramento Kings and NBA discussion. Tune in every Thursday for a new episode.

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