The official NBA ballots for Coach of the Year and the other year-end league awards — voted on by the media — were due Friday. When it comes to the coaching award, Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer is considered the favorite in a crowded field.
Budenholzer’s coaching peers agree.
The 30 NBA coaches voted to give Budenholzer the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, the award of the National Basketball Coaches Association.
“The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award for the top NBA Coach as voted by his peers is one of the most meaningful in all of pro sports,” said Dallas Mavericks Head Coach and National Basketball Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle. “Mike Budenholzer in his first year as Head Coach of the Bucks, led the franchise to the top record in the entire NBA. Congratulations to Bud on this prestigious recognition.”
Budenholzer took over for Jason Kidd, who was running an outdated style of offense and pressuring defense that often left the Bucks in bad positions. Budenholzer updated the Bucks to a modern system, with a five-out offense that spread the floor and opened driving lanes for Giannis Antetokounmpo, then on defense went to a more traditional system that had the Greek Freak and Brook Lopez protecting the rim. It worked brilliantly and the Bucks finished with a league-best 60-22 record and were top five in offense and defense.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by your peers, and that makes this award truly special,” said Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “Thank you to my colleagues across the NBA, and most importantly thank you to our players and staff in Milwaukee. The players’ and staffs’ work this year has given our team and our fans a very special season.
“Michael H. Goldberg was a mentor and a friend to me for many years as he helped me grow to this moment. My staff and I are grateful for all he and the NBA Coaches Association have done and continue to do for coaches in the NBA.”
Other coaches who received votes were: Kenny Atkinson, Michael Malone, Nate McMillan, Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers, Quin Snyder, and Terry Stotts.
The NBA’s awards will be announced in a ceremony after the NBA Finals.