Every year, prior to the actual Coach of the Year Award handed out by the NBA, the Coaches Association picks their own winner, or in the case of the 2019-20 season, winners. This award is unique because it’s voted on by only the 30 NBA head coaches, meaning there is some prestige to win it.
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel did not win but did receive votes. Of the 30 head coaches in the league, eight received at least one vote for the award, with Milwaukee Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City Thunders’ Billy Donavan being the eventual co-winners.
Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse was just one vote away from creating a three-way tie, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Billy Donovan were voted the National Basketball Coaches Association co-coaches of the year, sources told ESPN. Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse was third in the race — and just one vote away from creating a three-way tie, sources said.
Five other coaches received votes, including Vogel, as he put his name alongside some excellent coaches:
Among those who also received votes, sources said: Memphis’ Taylor Jenkins, Indiana’s Nate McMillan, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Boston’s Brad Stevens and the Lakers’ Frank Vogel.
With this result, Budenholzer has now taken home this award for the second consecutive year after leading the Bucks to the best record in basketball. Donavan picked up the award for taking a Thunder team that many thought would miss the playoffs and making them a competitive team that could be as high as the No. 4 seed when seeding games are done.
This is also the second tie in the history of the award, the first coming in 2017, when Houston Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni and Miami Heats’ Erik Spoelstra split the vote.
This tie is significant, as the short history of the award shows how on par it is with the league’s voting. In the last four years, the winner of the Coaches Association’s award has also gone on to be recognized as the NBA’s official Coach of the Year.
Vogel supports Brad Stevens for Coach of the Year
When recently asked who he felt was the Coach of the Year, Vogel said that the 2019-20 season had a number of qualified candidates, but that his vote would go to Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens for reshaping the culture following the tumultuous tenure of Kyrie Irving.
“That’s a tough one. I think so many people have done a great job. Coach Bud and Coach Nurse out East, doing what they’ve done has been impressive,” Vogel said. “Billy The Kid in OKC, with a team that didn’t necessarily have high expectations.
“He’s done a great job, and Billy Jenkins has done a great job in Memphis. Why don’t I give it to my former Indiana buddy, Brad Stevens. For doing a great job after losing Kyrie Irving and a few others. Changing the whole identity of their team and having a great season. I would probably vote for Brad.”
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