Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year on Tuesday, making him just the third coach in league history to win the Red Auerbach trophy three times in his career.
Popovich has received the league’s top coaching honor in two of the last three seasons, joining Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times.
In a career full of masterful coaching performances, Popovich may have delivered his best in season No. 18.
The Spurs entered the season still thinking about the devastating loss to the Miami Heat in last summer’s classic NBA Finals. Once again thought to be too old to challenge LeBron James and the mighty Heat, the Spurs took the defending champions to seven games but couldn’t quite close it out for the franchise’s fifth NBA title.
“Suffice to say that I’ve thought about it every day,” Popovich said at training camp in October. “I’m wondering if it will go away. I’m anxious for it to happen, but it hasn’t happened yet.”
They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta.