Steve Kerr Wins Coach Of The Year

11:33am: Kerr has officially won the award, the league announced via press release. Terry Stotts finished a close second, with Gregg Popovich third. The Trail Blazers have yet to pick up their team option on Stotts’ contract for next season, though that figures to be a formality at this point.

10:59am: The NBA will announce Steve Kerr as the winner of the Coach of the Year award, sources tell Marc Stein of (Twitter link). Kerr missed the first 43 games of the season while recovering from multiple operations on his back, but it appears voters were willing to overlook that in the wake of Golden State’s 73-9 record overall, the best in the history of the league. The Warriors adapted seamlessly to his absence, going 39-4 under acting head coach Luke Walton, who was also eligible for the award.

Kerr, 50, maintained a consistent presence around the team in practices while he was recovering, and it was clear the relaxed tone he set during last year’s championship season remained. He finished second in last year’s voting to Mike Budenholzer. Golden State finished 34-5 this year after Kerr returned in January, though an ankle injury kept presumptive MVP Stephen Curry out of a Game 3 loss to the Rockets in the first round, and a knee injury that will sideline Curry for at least the next two weeks threatens Golden State’s bid for a repeat championship.

Regardless, Kerr has become one of the NBA’s most well-regarded coaches even though he’s only been at the gig for two years. He followed up 15 years as an NBA player with stints as the Suns GM and as a broadcaster, but multiple NBA teams wanted him to hire him as head coach two years when he decided to try the profession. The Knicks lost out to the Warriors in the pursuit of Kerr, despite the presence of Phil Jackson, who coached Kerr on the Bulls in the 1990s, as team president in New York. The Knicks instead hired Derek Fisher, whom they fired midway through this season.

A panel of NBA writers, broadcasters and other journalists voted on the award, with five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote. Below, see how each vote-getter ranked, with first-place votes noted where applicable, and click here to see a ballot-by-ballot breakdown.

  1. Steve Kerr (Warriors) — 64
  2. Terry Stotts (Trail Blazers) — 37
  3. Gregg Popovich (Spurs) — 10
  4. Steve Clifford (Hornets) — 7
  5. Dwane Casey (Raptors) — 6
  6. Brad Stevens (Celtics) — 5
  7. Dave Joerger (Grizzlies) — 1
  8. Doc Rivers (Clippers)
  9. Luke Walton (Warriors)
  10. Erik Spoelstra (Heat)
  11. Quin Snyder (Jazz)
  12. Rick Carlisle (Mavericks)
  13. Mike Budenholzer (Hawks)
  14. Billy Donovan (Thunder)

Who was your Coach of the Year? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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12 thoughts on “Steve Kerr Wins Coach Of The Year

  1. I think Stotts should of won. He took the Blazers to the playoffs even though they were supposed to be rebuilding. If Kerr coached the entire year then he would definetly deserve it, but since he technically coached only half the season, I don’t think he should’ve won.

    • RunTheTable

      Given that Kerr was robbed last year, in a historic season for a long suffering franchise, and that fact that he was with the team more than the majority of the time, practices, film days, and set the tone for the organization, I think he was deserving.

      • I wouldn’t say he was robbed last year, Budenholzer was just as deserving.

  2. Z.....

    After a lot of deliberation, I’d go with Steve Clifford. He lost MKG the first day of the preseason, and was able to change that team into a space and pace offense, while maintaining top 7 defensive efficiency, and finish with 48 wins. I liked them coming into training camp, but I didn’t think they coud recover from losing MKG. They made some good moves to help them get there, but I feel like Clifford is one of the most prepared coaches in the league, and what he was able to do was most surprising. I had Portland at 45-47 wins before the season. I didn’t think that would make them the seed, but they still pretty much got to the win total I predicted. Still, it was a good job by Stotts to get those pieces together and use them right.
    I would list it as 1. Clifford
    3.Brad Stevens
    4.Dwane Casey
    5.Dave Joerger
    6.Terry Stotts
    7.Gregg Popovich
    8.Quinn Snyder
    9.Rick Carlisle
    10.Doc Rivers
    12.Steve Kerr

    • Curious, what’s your reasoning behind placing Spoelstra at number 2? Spoelstra is a great coach, but I don’t know if I would’ve put him ahead of any of those that you listed except for Doc and SVG.

      • Z.....

        He had to make certain adjustments on the fly during the season, and it worked. They totally changed their style and still finished with that 3 seed, while their number kind of resembled GS after the All Star break. I’m also looking at the maturation process of certain players that Spo obviously has a big influence on. He has never been given much credit, but Spo is a good coach, and other coaches speak so highly of him for a reason

  3. Arthur Hill

    Kerr and Walton set a record, Stotts and Clifford both lifted their teams above expectations, but no one did a better job this year than Dave Joerger. He kept the Grizzlies afloat as 28 players passed through the roster, and enabled them to survive one devastating injury after another. He’s my Coach of the Year.

    • dstuart

      I personally think Dave Joerger deserved better praise than he got. Top-5 easy

  4. Rivers and Donovan make no sense to me on this list. Their teams finished exactly where they should have and didn’t overachieve at all. I’d put Stan Van Gundy on the list in their place.

    • Grant Weddle

      While I don’t agree the reasoning probably has to do with missing Griffin for so long and still succeeding. Donovan had a great season without ever coaching at the pro level. SVG deserved it more though

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