Budenholzer, Donovan share ‘Coach of the Year’ award

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. — Reuters pic
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, Aug 4 — Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City Thunder counterpart Billy Donovan were named as joint winners of the National Basketball Coaches Association coach of the year award yesterday.

Budenholzer and Donovan shared the award after voting which saw Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse just miss out on a share of the honour. Nurse polled just one vote fewer than Budenholzer and Donovan.

The award is decided each year based on votes by the NBA’s 30 head coaches, with each coach voting for a single individual.

Voting this year is based on games played up to March 11, when the season went into shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dallas Mavericks head coach and NBCA President Rick Carlisle said Budenholzer had earned the award for a second straight season after helping Milwaukee compile the best record in the NBA this season.

Donovan was honoured after leading his team to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons.

“Congratulations to Mike Budenholzer and Billy Donovan on this prestigious recognition,” Carlisle said in a statement.

“Mike led the Bucks to the best record in the league for a second straight season and Billy became just the fourth active head coach to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons.”

Donovan joins NBA coaching giants Don Nelson, Pat Riley and Gregg Popovich as the only three-time winners of the honour.

As well as Budenholzer, Donovan and Nurse, several other coaches received votes including Taylor Jenkins, Nate McMillan, Erik Spoelstra, Brad Stevens and Frank Vogel. — AFP

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