As the rumors and reports continue to surface regarding the NBA awards for the 2013-14 season, the first one from a fairly reputable source with information on Coach of the Year is in: San Antonio Spurs mad scientist Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs are going to have a press conference tomorrow to announce a major award. Got to be Manu as 6th Man or Pop as COY. My guess is Pop
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 21, 2014
Now as you read in the tweet, this announcement could indeed be for Manu Ginobili winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, but Pop winning the accolade for best coach is more likely. After the “last hurrah” to Game 7 of the NBA Finals last year, no one expected the Spurs to be back better than they were in 2012, even with a younger, deeper roster.
Yet here they are.
Not only that; Pop’s squad had the best league record locked up with three games to play and as impressive as that is, the Spurs did it as a Western Conference team, which makes it even more admirable.
Still not convinced? Pop signed a 27-year-old Marco Belinelli and got career-best numbers out of him almost across the board in his first season with the Spurs. How about making a solid role player out of Austin Daye following a mid-season trade? Don’t even get me started on the work he’s done with Damion Jones.
Even after everyone has called the Spurs “too old” about seven years in a row now, Pop is still doing what he does with players of which most people have never heard. You see, it’s not all Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, although the latter can certainly carry the team if needed; The Big Fundamental is playing even less minutes this year than he did in 2012, near his career low, and San Antonio hasn’t missed a beat.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is what the NBA’s Coach of the Year looks like. Being able to rebuild an aging team with underrated young talent while still contending for titles through that process is something of which only the all-time greats are capable, and Pop proved yet again this year he’s an all-time great. So we can at least give him the minor recognition of being the league’s best coach again this year alone, right?