NBA Awards: 2015 Coach of the Year

By Lee Golden
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Mar 25, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Grab some tissues and watch the replay of Coach Bud's Coach of the Year speech. It's amazing: #TrueToAtlanta

— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 21, 2015

And the winner by majority decision is Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. Serving as an assistant under Gregg Popvich for 17 years has finally paid off. Budenholzer collected 67 out of a possible 130 first-place votes as a product of his conference best 60 win season. The only people who could have seen this successful season coming are avid Hawks fans and I’m sure that even they didn’t fully believe it. The Hawks soared past expectations. Following a season where Atlanta barely made the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round, who knew they’d take the East by storm despite a heavily favored Cavaliers and Bulls team?

Mike has the Hawks playing team basketball that mirrors San Antonio’s scheme of ball/player movement. Atlanta ranked second in the league in assist rate. Budenholzer also led Atlanta to become the first team in NBA history to go undefeated during a calendar month back in January when they finished 17-0. When it was all said and done, Mike wanted give a special thanks to his mentor.

“I think I speak for myself and a ton of my colleagues — it’s a long list — that I get to speak publicly and thank Pop for letting us coach with him,” Budenholzer said. “It prepared me for my opportunity. And I think that’s ultimately what the role of a coach is — to prepare his team, to prepare a player, or to prepare a person for their opportunity. And I just want to thank Pop for preparing me for this opportunity.”

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