Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni were presented the first National Basketball Coaches Association’s (NBCA) Michael H. Goldberg award during the NBCA’s annual meeting Friday.
As originally reported by Hot Hot Hoops, the two coaches were announced as co-winners back in May. The NBA’s 30 head coaches picked both Spoelstra and D’Antoni as 2016-17’s best coach. Seven other coaches received votes including Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks, Scott Brooks of the Washington Wizards, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, David Fizdale of the Memphis Grizzlies, Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers and Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz.
As reported by NBA.com, NBCA president and Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said “the tie was legitimate and there were five or six others who received significant votes. So it really spoke to the quality job that everybody did from top to bottom.” None of the NBA’s coaches were fired in 2016-17, the first time it has happened since 1970-71.
D’Antoni was named the 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year in June in the first televised NBA awards show on TNT. Spoelstra was one of the three finalists for the award along with Popavich.
The Heat’s huge second half of the season vaulted Spoelstra into the Coach of the Year conversation. Miami went 30-11 in the 2nd half but missed the playoffs after finishing with the same 41-41 record as the 8th seed Chicago Bulls who won the tiebreaker.
Spoelstra is tied with Carlisle (2008) as the NBA’s second longest tenured coach behind Popovich (1996). Spoelstra is also tied with Carlisle for the second most wins by an active coach with 722.