ERIK Spoelstra and Mike D’Antoni got honored by their fellow NBA coaches after being named co-recipients of the inaugural Michael H. Goldberg National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year award on Sunday (Monday, Manila time).
The league’s 30 head coaches, the only voters for the award named after the longtime NBCA executive director who died earlier this year, recognized the efforts of Spoelstra and D’Antoni for their remarkable efforts in turning things around for the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, respectively.
"Congratulations to Mike and Erik on their outstanding work this year. And somewhere up above our good friend Michael Goldberg is very proud," said Mavericks coach and NBCA president Rick Carlisle in the statement released Sunday.
In his first season with the Rockets, D’Antoni has helped Houston win 14 more games than last year to reach the third best record in the NBA and the no.3 seed in the Western Conference. The Rockets have also set a new NBA mark for three-pointers made in the regular season with 1,181 triples.
Spoelstra led the biggest first-half to second-half turnaround in NBA history after the Heat bounced back from an 11-30 start to almost make it to the playoffs with a 30-11 finish. It’s a feat made more astonishing with Miami leading the league with 328 player games lost due to illness or injury.
Other coaches who received votes for the NBCA award were Washington's Scott Brooks, Memphis' David Fizdale, Golden State's Steve Kerr, Milwaukee's Jason Kidd, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, the Clippers' Doc Rivers and Utah's Quin Snyder.
Spoelstra and D'Antoni will receive their awards at the NBCA's annual meeting in September.
On the other hand, a media panel voted separately to determine the NBA Coach of the Year, to be announced on the league’s first-ever awards show on June 26.