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2017 NBA Playoffs

Mike Brown marks Warriors’ return to NBA Finals with tacos and Too $hort

The Warriors haven’t missed a beat under their acting head coach

How did Mike Brown celebrate the Golden State Warriors’ 129-115 Game 4 win over the San Antonio Spurs to clinch a sweep in the Western Conference Finals and punch a ticket to their third straight NBA Finals? That’s an easy one.

Tacos and Too $hort, the Warriors coach told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears live on SportsCenter after the win.

This isn’t the first amusing interview Brown has been a part of this postseason. While on his way to Oracle Arena for Game 2 against the Spurs, Brown got pulled over by Bay Area police, and once they let him go, he recounted the story in hilarious detail to reporters before the teams took the floor.

“Warriors acting coach” is what Brown said he had to tell police officers that day to get off the hook. It’s a title we’ve all had to get accustomed to since late April, when Golden State head coach Steve Kerr was sidelined indefinitely with chronic back pain as a result of surgery he had almost two years ago. Since then, the Warriors have gone 10-0 under Brown on their way to a perfect 12-0 postseason.

At the beginning of the regular season, or even the playoffs, if someone had told you that Brown would lead the Warriors back to the Finals, you would’ve thought he or she was messing with you. But quietly, Brown, in his first year on Golden State’s coaching staff, has been the protagonist of one of the most exciting stories of the postseason.

In Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, Brown’s first game as acting head coach, the Warriors overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to claim a 119-113 win, after which Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green called Brown the “MVP.” Golden State then celebrated a four-game Western Conference semifinals sweep of the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, where Brown’s brother nearly died 26 years before. Against San Antonio in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, Brown was in the head coach’s chair when the Warriors stormed back after trailing by as many as 25 points to win the game, 113-111, and set the tone for a sweep of the injury-plagued Spurs.

And now, Brown is back in the NBA Finals as head coach for the first time since 2007, when the Spurs swept him and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

Whether Kerr will return to the sideline to coach the Warriors in the Finals remains uncertain, so for now, the stage is set for a matchup between Brown and his former team, the Cavaliers, who fired him twice as head coach, in 2010 and 2014. And in the path of Brown’s second NBA championship ring (he won in 2003 as an assistant coach with the Spurs) could be King James — the player who first took him to the promised land as a head coach 10 years ago.

With the Warriors four wins away from a title, the question is, if they win, will Brown break out the tacos and Too $hort at the championship parade? It’d only be right.

Aaron Dodson is an associate editor at The Undefeated. Often mistaken for Aaron Dobson, formerly of the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, he was one letter away from being an NFL wide receiver.