NBA awards season has just wrapped up, and most of the awards weren’t a surprise. Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni ended up bringing home NBA Coach of the Year, even though his team only made it to the second round.
The NBA is a players league. As the years go on, coaches have become less valuable. Up until the finals, the top two teams in the NBA were coached by Mike Brown & Tyronn Lue. Both of these men are terrible coaches, let’s make that clear. Just for perspective, Mike Brown and Byron Scott have won NBA COTY awards in the past…
Offensively, the NBA is ran by the pick & roll system and isolation style of basketball. There’s no coaching in a system where players constantly run off screens like how the Warriors operate. It’s a league that is ran for the players by the players. One of the biggest reasons I can’t stand the NBA COTY is because of credibility– the best coach coaches can be left out.
It’s absolutely blasphemous to me that the Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was left off of the COTY finalists. Brad Stevens had Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and a ton of role players and still coached them to 53-win season that came to an end in the Eastern Conference Finals.
When you watch the Boston Celtics, that is a team that is ran by coaching. They actually have a system other than running ISO & pick and rolls.
Another factor you would think that matters is the team that ends up winning it all, right?
In the last 10 seasons, only two coaches that won coach of the year won the NBA title (Gregg Popovich 2013-14 and Steve Kerr 2015-16). In fact, when the Mavericks beat the Heat in the 2011 Finals, Rick Carlisle didn’t win COTY. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau won Coach of the Year and didn’t even make the finals…
Year by year the NBA Coach of the Year award loses credibility as the players continue to rule the ship. Honestly, coaches are just there to make sure players don’t kill each other in the locker room.
Coaches are also there to be an extension of the front office because at the end of the day, the front office is who actually runs the team.