Spurs’ Popovich named NBA’s Coach of the Year

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Spurs’ Popovich named NBA’s Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO - Gregg Popovich was selected as the NBA’s coach of the year on Tuesday after leading the San Antonio Spurs to 50 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in the lockout-shortened season.

Popovich also won the award in 2003 when San Antonio won its second of four championships, and he might be headed for a fifth ring if the Spurs keep this up. No longer able to simply lean on Tim Duncan and defense, Popovich has nonetheless molded another contender with a surprising supporting cast of rookies and former NBA no-names.

He whipped them into winners quickly. After a bumpy 12-9 start, the Spurs lost only seven more games the rest of the season.

“If you can draft David Robinson and follow that up with Tim Duncan, that’s a couple of decades of very, very possible success unless you just screw it up,’’ Popovich said. “So it’s hard to take credit when circumstances have gone your way so consistently.’’

Popovich received 77 first-place votes. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau was second (27), Indiana coach Frank Vogel was third (7) and Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was fourth (6). Boston’s Doc Rivers and Denver’s George Karl each received a vote.

AP
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