Rockets News

Mike D’Antoni named co-recipient of first ever NBCA Coach of the Year award

Apr 25, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni reacts while the Rockets play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Houston Rockets won 105 to 99 .Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni reacts while the Rockets play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half in game five of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Houston Rockets won 105 to 99 .Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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In the award’s first year, Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets was named co-recipient of the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year award. The other co-recipient is the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra.

The NBA will announce the Red Auerbach Trophy winner on June 26th at the first annual NBA awards show. At that event, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni will have the opportunity to win his second Coach of the Year award this season. Not many coaches have had that chance before, but that could change for the future.

Today, the National Basketball Coaches Association named D’Antoni and Erik Spoelstra as co-winners of its first ever COY award. The honor is given to the coach(es) who best demonstrated and promoted excellence on and off the court, according to the statement released by the NBCA. Here’s a part of the statement:

"The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award recognizes the dedication and hard work of NBA Head Coaches and is presented annually to a Head Coach who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court. It honors the spirit of Michael H. Goldberg who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, love of the game, passionate representation, and tireless promotion of NBA Coaching."

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Congratulations to Mike D’Antoni for winning the award, and thanks for leading the Houston Rockets so well this season. I admit that I was among the skeptics after the hire, but I take it all back. I will forever trust both D’Antoni as well as Daryl Morey when it comes to basketball decisions.

The Rockets soared above all preseason expectations with D’Antoni at the helm, and his award is well-deserved. He also will likely be near the top of the list when it comes to NBA COY voting. James Harden will likely not win MVP, but D’Antoni winning COY would do something to make up for it.

Next: 3 keys to beating San Antonio

For now, MDA has an opportunity to prove his coaching expertise as his Rockets take on the Spurs in game 4 of the second round tonight. They’ll need to even the series at two games apiece if they want a chance to see the next round.

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