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Spurs' Gregg Popovich Named 2014 NBA Coach of the Year

Apr 22 2014, 6:55pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Spurs' Gregg Popovich Named 2014 NBA Coach of the Year
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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was named 2014 NBA Coach of the Year on April 22.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was named 2014 NBA Coach of the Year on April 22. 

According to the Spurs' official website, Popovich joins Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in NBA history to win the award three times: 

"The NBA today announced that San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich ois the recipiend of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year. 

"Popovich joins Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times. Popovich also received the award following the 2002-03 and 2011-12 seasons. He totaled 380 points, including 59 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. 

"Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The award voting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP."

In a press conference, Popovich gave credit to his players, per ESPN. 

"This award with Coach Auerbach here belongs to a lot of people. I'm honored and very thankful. 

"When you win an award, it gets down to the players. Players do the work, and players do the winning. They've been unbelievable for me, allowed me to coach them for a long time, and without their play, their diligence and their professionalism, I know this wouldn't happen. 

"The way we lost in the Finals wasn't an ordinary loss; it was pretty devastating. We decided that we needed to just face that right off the bat at the beginning of season and get it out of the way. Don't blame it on the basketball gods or bad fortune or anything like that.

"The Miami Heat beat us and won the championship, and that's that and then you move on. In all of our lives, there are many things more important than winning or losing basketball games.

"That's the perspective we had to take, and our team showed great maturity and resilience in being able to do that and set it aside yet again. So I'm very proud of them for that.

"I was the only one left. It's a volatile job, and all of us know that. R.C. (Buford, the Spurs' GM) and I have been fortunate to have been here so long together with an owner who lets us do our job and shows patience, understanding of how this all works. 

"And in that regard, we know how fortunate we've been. So I can't overstate that. 

"In a business that's this crazy, people want quick, quick wins satisfaction and don't quite understand how long it takes to put something together. We've been allowed to do that."

Reigning NBA MVP LeBron James of the Miami Heat told Jon Crawzynski of The Associated Press (via MySanAntonio.com) that he has "the utmost respect" for Popovich. 

"Not surprised. It's well-awarded. I have the utmost respect for Gregg Popovich, man. Not only what he's been able to do for that team, but him just always being able to keep those guys motivated and always keep their best interests...

"From the outside looking in, it seems that he has their best interests and all he cares about is the team's success and nothing else matters. That's big-time." 

Popovich is in his 18th season as Spurs head coach. He guided the team to a 62-20 regular-season record in 2013-14, the best in the league. 

Under his leadership, San Antonio has won at least 50 games for 15 consecutive seasons, per the team's official website. The Spurs also established a team record with 30 road victories this season -- just the 13th time in league history a team has won at least 30 games away from its home arena. 

 

Popovich has also steered the Spurs to 17 straight playoff appearances, with his 134 playoff wins ranking third all-time behind Phil Jackson (229) and Pat Riley (171). 

Popovich, who has guided San Antonio to four NBA titles, has a win-loss record of 967-443 (.686) through April 22, per Basketball-Reference.com. 

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