New York, Jun 7 (EFE) .- The compensation for the good work done once again featured Tom Thibodeau, technical manager of the New York Knicks, who this Monday received the NBA Coach of the Year award.
An award that was given to him for the second time since he came to the benches of the best basketball in the NBA, and with a wait of 10 years, after his first he got it in the 2011 season when he managed the Chicago Bulls.
The 63-year-old Thibodeau, who led the Knicks to a 20-win improvement this season, edged out Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams by a total of 11 points, while Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, finished third.
“Every time you receive an award like this, obviously I’m honored, but it’s more a reflection of our group and our organization,” Thibodeau said on “Inside The NBA” when accepting the award.
A couple of players he had on that Bulls team, point guard Derrick Rose and power forward Taj Gibson, were veteran mentors on this year’s Knicks team, which went from competing for one of the top spots. in the NBA college draft lottery to gain home field advantage in the playoffs as fourth-ranked in the Eastern Conference.
“The thing about Derrick and the people who have surrounded him, and Taj, you can say the same about him, is that they are the first in the team,” Thibodeau said. “When Derrick was the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) at age 22, he was a great teammate, had great humility and has been in several big games, although he has had to overcome many adversities.”
Thibodeau received 43 first-place votes and garnered 351 total points from a global panel of 100 sports journalists and broadcasters. The voting breakdown was as follows: first place votes (5 points); Second place votes (3 points); 3rd place votes (1 point).
While the Knicks lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, it was still a successful season in Gotham, as power forward Julius Randle, who was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player last month, became a All-Star forward, Canadian forward RJ Barrett took a major step forward in his second season, and guard Immanuel Quickley immediately contributed as a rookie for the Knicks, who had a top-five defense all season.
Williams actually had more first-place votes (45) than Thibodeau and was named in 96 votes to Thibodeau’s 95. But Thibodeau surpassed him by virtue of getting several more votes for second place.
However, Williams helped lead the Suns to the second-best record in the NBA after Phoenix had not made the playoffs since 2010, as the combination of the acquisition of Chris Paul and the improvement of the team’s pool of young players , led by All-Star, star guard Devin Booker, former collegiate number one, Bahamian center Deandre Ayton and forward Mikal Bridges, finally helped turn things around.
The Suns hope to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since Charles Barkley took them there in 1993.
Williams also earned the respect of his peers, winning the National Association of Basketball Coaches version of the award last month.
Snyder, now in his seventh season with the Jazz, led Utah to the NBA’s best record, building a system around the unique talents of French center Rudy Gobert, who the team has surrounded with plenty of shots, and Snyder. He has given them the green light to let it fly whenever possible.
That combination allowed the Jazz to be the only team to finish the regular season in the top five in offensive and defensive efficiency, and finish with the best record in the league for the first time in franchise history.
Those three coaches were followed by Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers, who received the only other votes for first place. Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan, Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash, and Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone also received votes.
Like last year, the NBA has reverted to its traditional awards throwing during the playoffs rather than having a grand prize show at the end of the postseason, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
(c) EFE Agency