Less than a week after being knocked out of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl has been named the NBA Coach of the Year.
Karl led the Nuggets to their best season record in franchise history at 57-25, including an astounding 38-3 at home.
Karl received 62 first place votes and 404 total points to beat out Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra (24/190), New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson (6/127) and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (11/120). This is Karl’s first time to win the award in his 25 years as a head coach and he was very flattered to be selected.
Honored to receive coach of the year award. Tribute to great players and assistants. Many others equally deserving.
— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) May 8, 2013
Obviously this is a regular season award, so the Nuggets’ upset at the hands of the Warriors had no effect on the voting. Keeping that in mind, I think Karl was an excellent choice for coach of the year. He led a Nuggets team with no real superstar to the third-seed in a very competitive Western Conference. If you take away the injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried, the outcome of the playoffs could have been totally different for Denver.
Karl has the respect of his players, the fans and the Denver organization. That first round loss is going to sting for a while, but I am sure the Nuggets are happy to have George Karl steering their ship.