San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich credits his players for rebounding in resilient fashion from what he considers the most devastating defeat in his coaching tenure with the franchise -- Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals -- to post the best record in the league a year later.
Popovich's players and a panel of voters are inclined to give the veteran coach some of that credit.
Popovich is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year. Popovich, accepted the award after a playoff walkthrough Tuesday, said he owes much of the credit to general manager R.C. Buford -- never honored as executive of the year -- and owner Peter Holt.
"I'm very honored, for a whole lot of reasons," he said. "First of all, because there are so many coaches that did such a great job this year. A lot of people were really special, and to be singled out is pretty humbling. I know I've been very lucky for a good number of years, and I know full well that I just represent part of what goes on here. A lot of people contribute to any sort of award like this. So this award, with Coach Auerbach here, belongs to a lot of people is the bottom line. I'm honored and very thankful."
The Spurs finished with a league-best 62-20 (.756) record, which provided them with homecourt advantage throughout the postseason and gave the franchise 15 consecutive seasons with at least 50 victories under Popovich.
San Antonio lost in the 2013 NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, who rallied from a 3-2 series deficit with a furious last-minute comeback in Game 6 and won Game 7 in Miami.
---Steve Kerr played for Phil Jackson in Chicago, they dine together when TNT basketball assignments put Kerr in the same city and there is no pretending the hypothetical coaching conversation between them would be a new one.
That said, Kerr voiced caution to those predicting his next move is to become head coach of Jackson's New York Knicks.
"I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point. But when that time comes it will come but for now there's really not a whole lot to talk about," said Kerr, via XMRadio, while on assignment for the first round of the NBA playoffs as a TNT basketball analyst. "We've remained close over the years, since he retired from coaching, even while he was coaching the Lakers, I would often have dinner with him on the road if I was playing for another team even, just to catch up. I went to his daughter's wedding a few years ago in Montana. We've been very close."
Kerr was rumored to be a prime candidate for Jackson long before coach Mike Woodson was officially fired by the new Knicks president on Monday. Kerr has never been a coach, but worked as general manager of the Phoenix Suns upon his retirement from the NBA as a player.
---The Golden State Warriors agreed to terms with Salesforce.com to purchase land in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood, where the team intends to build a new arena.
"We believe Mission Bay is a perfect fit," Joe Lacob, co-executive chairman and CEO of the Warriors said in a statement. "It is a wonderful inland site in a dynamic part of the City that is convenient for fans from all over the Bay Area. We are buying private property, but the city will also get a new 5 1/2-acre waterfront park. It's a win-win for everyone."
The Warriors are targeting the 2018-19 season to open the arena. The team first arrived in San Francisco in 1962 and played there until moving to Oakland for the 1971-72 season.
The Warriors abandoned their plan to build an arena on Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge.