After Your Best Player Retires

The Guardian looks at the remarkable coaching job Gregg Poppovich has done with the San Antonio Spurs this year. Tim Duncan, one of best and most consistent players in the history of the league retired this year. Most franchises would be expected to have a down season, but the Spurs continued to excel.

Popovich has won NBA coach of the year just three times in his 21 seasons. Likewise, LeBron James has only been deemed league MVP four times in 14 seasons and isn’t even a finalist for the award this year. Both men are so consistently excellent that there’s an urge among voters to almost punish them for it and feel the need to honor some other coach or player this year because surely Pop and LeBron will have more opportunities to win individual awards down the road. But if all was fair, each man would have double-digit trophies and no one could rightly complain. Maybe the better idea is to just name the NBA’s coach of the year award the Pop Trophy and then it won’t matter who they give it to.

Poppovich is one of my favorite coaches of all time. I’ve written about him before here and here.

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