San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has officially been named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 season. It’s a fitting reward for one of the game’s most interesting minds, as “Pop” helped the Spurs to the NBA’s best record and the overall number one seed in the NBA Playoffs this season.
Popovich was extremely deserving of the award this season, as he led the Spurs to an impressive 62-20 finish, good for six more wins than anyone in the Eastern Conference and three more than the Western Conference’s number two team, the Oklahoma City Thunder (59).
The Spurs remained balanced throughout the season, holding their own on the road with a stellar 30-11 road clip, while also going 32-9 on their own court. San Antonio also tied the Indiana Pacers for the best record against their own conference, going 38-14 against Western Conference opponents.
This year’s Coach of the Year award marks the second time in the past three seasons Popovich has received the honor, as well as the third time he’s been named COY since taking over as the Spurs’ head coach back in 1996.
Popovich could have won his third COY award after the 2012-13 NBA season, in which his Spurs went 58-24 and reached the NBA Finals before bowing out to the Miami Heat.
Taking over for a bad Spurs team in 1996, Popovich went just 17-47 in his first season as head coach, but then drafted now grizzly veteran and future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan in 1997. The Spurs would go 56-26 in Duncan’s first season, and won Popovich’s first NBA title one year later in 1998.
In his 18 seasons as the head coach of the Spurs, Popovich has compiled 967 regular season wins and has claimed four NBA Finals championships, while also appearing in nine Western Conference Finals series. Popovich and his Spurs aim for a fifth NBA championship, currently holding a 1-0 advantage over the Dallas Mavericks in their first round playoff series.