The Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr, whose team won an NBA-record 73 games, is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today. He becomes the Warriors’ first winner since Don Nelson in the 1991-92 season.
Kerr, in his second season as Golden State head coach, received 64 first-place votes and 381 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Portland Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts, who guided his team to the playoffs with four new starters, finished second with 37 first-place votes and 335 total points. Three-time winner Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was third with 10 first-place votes and 166 total points. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
Under Kerr and assistant coach Luke Walton, who served as interim head coach until Kerr returned from back-surgery complications in January, the Warriors (73-9) posted the best regular-season record in league history, eclipsing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10). The defending NBA champions opened the season 24-0, the best start in league history, which pushed their overall regular-season winning streak to 28 games, the second longest of all time.
The Warriors set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 victories to finish last season), and went 39-2 at Oracle Arena for the second season in a row. Golden State also became the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row or losing to the same team twice.
The Warriors excelled at both ends of the court. They established an NBA record with 1,077 three-pointers, part of a high-powered offense that posted the league’s highest scoring average (114.9 ppg) since the 1991-92 season and led the NBA in offensive rating (112.5 points per 100 possessions), field goal percentage (48.7), three-point field goal percentage (41.6, second highest in NBA history) and assists (28.9 apg). On defense, the Warriors tied for fourth in defensive rating, allowing 100.9 points per 100 possessions.
For the third year in a row, complete media voting results for each NBA annual award were released after the announcement of each winner. Click here for those results.
Celtics’ Irving to Undergo Procedure on Left Knee
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure on his left knee on Saturday, according to the team. The procedure is described as minimally invasive, to relieve irritation. Further information will be provided following the procedure.
Source: Boston Celtics
Sources: Spurs Hold Players-Only Meeting to Discuss Kawhi Leonard’s Status
The San Antonio Spurs held a players-only meeting to implore All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard to return to the lineup and help the team in its push for the playoffs, league sources told ESPN.
Spurs guard Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion, quarterbacked the meeting after the team’s victory over Minnesota on Saturday night. Non-players were asked to leave the locker room, a source told Michael C. Wright.
The conversation was described as tense and emotional at times. Several teammates spoke up, expressing frustration and confusion over a growing divide that has created significant tension between Leonard and the Spurs. Outside the Spurs locker room, players’ voices could be heard through the door, sources said.
Leonard remained resolute in his response, insisting that he has good reason to continue sitting out because he still isn’t fully healthy, sources said. Leonard told his teammates that he planned to return once he felt able to do so, sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Report: Suns Begin Search for Head Coach, to Consider Jay Triano
The Phoenix Suns are beginning their search for a new head coach now, a process that will include interim coach Jay Triano, general manager Ryan McDonough told ESPN.
In a coaching market that could be expansive with openings this spring, the Suns want to get a start on connecting with available candidates now and leap into the rest of the coaching market in mid-April when the regular season ends, McDonough said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN