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Gregg Popovich wins 2012 NBA Coach of the Year

By Matt Moore | NBA writer
UPDATE: The NBA has made it officials that Gregg Popovich has won Coach of the Year. ]


The Spurs announced a press conference for this afternoon with no subject, which usually indicates an award this time of year. Now word comes from the San Antonio News-Express that head coach Gregg Popovich is set to take home Coach of the Year honors.

It'll be just Popovich's second Coach of the Year award, which reads as an outright crime considering his consistency and excellence with a roster that under most coaches would perform only to mediocrity. Tim Duncan's prime passed nearly five years ago, and yet this year marks the second time in two seasons the Spurs have held the best record in the tough Western Conference.

Popovich has managed to continue getting production out of the Big 3, while also setting up a development system to provide role players like Danny Green, Gary Neal, and Matt Bonner. The Spurs' excellence is not built on star power, despite the MVP-level play of Tony Parker and the brilliance of Manu Ginobili (who missed much of the season with injury, it should be added), but on a system that involves everyone and works for the best shot.

Popovich also breeds a culture of respect and hard work without being a disciplinarian. Stephen Jackson balked at coaches wherever he went and yet was thrilled to return to the harsh love of Popovich's teams. Let's put it this way. Matt Bonner, Stephen Jackson, and Boris Diaw are probably considered liabilities on other teams, and are extremely valuable role players under Popovich. He even managed to develop Kawhi Leonard into a quality starting role which enabled them to dump Richard Jefferson.

Tom Thibodeau would have been a worthy winner of the award. But there can be no doubt that Popovich deserves to win.
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