Spurs Gregg Popovich Wins NBA Coach of the Year 2012
For the second time in his Hall of Fame managerial career, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been named the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award recipient.
Popovich received 77 first-place votes by a panel of sports writers from around the country. In the end, this thing wasn’t even close, as the 63-year-old former Air Force alumni ran away with the hardware.
“The fact they allow me to coach them the way I coach them surprises me on a daily basis,” Popovich said at today’s press conference. “Timmy sets the tone on the floor for our players. … Win or lose, they do it with class and they do it the right way.”
In fact, the second place voting went to the Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau, who received just 27 first-place votes. Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel finished third in the voting with (7) followed by Memphis’ Lionel Hollins (6) and Boston’s Doc Rivers and Denver’s George Karl each receiving one vote.
It certainly appears that Popovich, who’s a four-time NBA champion, has a knack for shortened NBA seasons. As many may recall, the last time we had a lockout, it was the Spurs the ones to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Tim Duncan earned the MVP after defeating Jeff Van Gundy and the New York Knicks in five games at the 1999 NBA Finals.
This year, with a 66-game season, Popovich and the Spurs finished tied with the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the entire league. San Antonio closed out the season by winning 10 consecutive ballgames on their way to a 50-16 record.
Looking for a fifth ring, Popovich earned the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs after overtaking Oklahoma City in the last week of the regular season. With Derrick Rose out for the year, due to a knee injury, it is very likely that the Spurs could make good use of having home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.
If so, the Spurs could become the only team to win back-to-back championships in consecutive shortened NBA-locked-out seasons. Will this be another year in which “Pop’s Way” ends up being the championship way? Need help making your 2012 NBA Playoff picks? Sign up to receive $50 worth of free NBA playoffs betting picks right here!
“That’s probably been overblown,” he said in reference to the so-called Pop’s Way philosophy. “I think we’ve just been blessed with people who understand their priorities, very team-oriented. Our organization is also blessed, as I’ve said many times, with incredible good fortune to draft David Robinson and follow that up with Tim Duncan. That’s a couple decades of very, very possible success, unless you screw it up. It’s hard to take credit when the circumstances have gone your way so consistently.”