Not only does everyone get an award, everyone now gets to give an award. Participation trophy culture is real, the critics will snarl, until we inform them that in this instance Gregg Popovich will be involved.
NBA coaches will vote on their own coach of the year award, starting in 2017, with an appreciation to go alongside the NBA’s Coach of the Year award (which is voted on by the press).
The National Basketball Coaches Association will call it the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, named after the long-time Executive Director of the National Basketball Coaches Association (via Pro Basketball Talk).
The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award will be an annual award given to honor the most successful Head Coach in the National Basketball Association (“NBA”) as voted upon by his or her peers. It will be the only award chosen entirely by NBA Coaches. Every season, Head Coaches representing all 30 NBA Teams will select the winner. The winner of the 2017 Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award will be announced at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 NBA regular season.
And so, the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award honors the substantial contributions of Mr. Goldberg, who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, passionate representation, and tireless promotion of NBA Coaching.
(Many hoopheads may recognize Goldberg’s name from Terry Pluto’s book ‘Loose Balls,’ which rightfully credited him as one of the leading lights in the NBA-ABA merger.
A “merger” that wasn’t, per Goldberg: “First of all, the NBA never called it a merger. The four ABA teams in essence bought their way into the NBA and the NBA considered it an expansion.”)
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This move comes on the heels of the National Basketball Players Association’s decision to hand out its own awards, following the regular season, which led to one televised ceremony in its first year of voting on trophies, and a bunch of annoying video tweets the second.
The NBCA is no stranger to award ceremonies, sending president (and Dallas Mavericks head coach) Rick Carlisle out each June to the site of that year’s NBA Finals to present the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award to a legendary member of the league’s coaching fraternity, but that designation is for the league to decide upon.
That doesn’t make the choice for the 30 NBA coaches any easier. The Coach of the Year voting is annually the toughest pick in the NBA’s award season, a tradition that figures to extend into 2016-17, with the league threatening to make it a firing-free season for coaches for the first time since the early 1970s.
The politics will intrigue. With a typically-strong slew of top picks to choose from, you might assume that the group (mindful of the NBA’s own award doing the heavy lifting) would look to congratulate longtime members of the profession. Someone like Charlotte’s Steve Clifford could take the nod, even if his team misses the playoffs. Or a long-timer like Terry Stotts (at only five seasons at Portland, he qualifies in this league) or Rick Carlisle himself.
I’m telling you, Frank Vogel will get votes. The list of assigned values, in coaching ranks, runs deep. This is why we love them so.
No word on if the NBCA will produce its own, televised, award ceremony.
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