As NBA action ended in Salt Lake City, details began to surface about a tragedy that took place thousands of miles away. A mass shooting occurred that night at a bowling alley and local restaurant in Lewiston, Maine. When Brown sat in front of reporters, he made an emotional appeal, calling "the powers that be" to stop gun violence.
"First thing I'd like to say is, I don't know everything that's going on, I'm not that smart, but I know we as a country got to do something," Brown said after sitting at the podium. "I'm walking over here and somebody says there was a mass shooting in Maine with 22 dead."
Thursday morning, Gov. Janet Mills said 18 people were killed and 13 injured. She encouraged Maine residents to stay in their homes while the manhunt continues for the perpetrator.
"If that doesn't touch anybody, I don't know," Brown added. "I don't even know what to say. That is absolutely disgusting and it's sad. And it's sad that we sit here and we watch this happen time after time after time after time. And nobody does anything about it."
His full address spans just over three minutes:
Mike Brown passionately addressed tonight’s mass shooting in Maine during his postgame press conference pic.twitter.com/rHMUrInP16
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) October 26, 2023
Brown isn't the first coach in the league to plea for change in this manner. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave a long, passionate speech in April, criticizing Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn's response to a school shooting in Nashville two weeks prior.
In May 2022, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was frustrated to the point of slamming the table as he condemned lawmakers after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
On Wednesday night, a follow-up question about Brown's perception of the league's awareness prompted him to acknowledge the efforts of vocal NBA figures, including commissioner Adam Silver and veteran players Chris Paul and LeBron James.
"Obviously, it hasn't done much," Brown added as he continued lamenting the "sick" violence.
The incident in Maine is America's 565th mass shooting this year, according to Gun Violence Archive, which classifies a mass shooting as an instance where four or more people are shot or killed in the same location at generally the same time. It's the 36th mass killing, according to the Associated Press.
When asked about the game, Brown was honest:
"I don't even want to talk basketball, I'm sorry," he said. "We played a game. It was fun. Obviously, we won. If we can't do anything to fix this, it's over. It's over for our country for this to happen time after time. I'll talk tomorrow."