The NBA has announced that George Karl, coach of the Denver Nuggets, will be named the NBA’s Coach of the Year. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra finished second, followed by New York’s Mike Woodson, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, and Indiana’s Frank Vogel.
The Nuggets set a franchise record for wins in the regular season, finishing 57-25 under Karl’s watch, before bowing out to a red-hot Golden State Warriors team in the first round of the playoffs. They also had a 38-3 home record, best in the NBA, and racked up 16 consecutive victories during a key stretch run in the second half of the season.
The Nuggets have been lauded for being a team without a true superstar in this, the era of multiple superstars joining forces in the chase for an NBA title. With a collection of solid role players and dynamic young players, the Nuggets play one of the most exciting brands of basketball in the league.
Karl just finished his ninth season in Denver, where he has failed to reach the second round of the playoffs in all but one season. For his career, Karl is 1,131-756 in the regular season as an NBA head coach, and 80-105 in the playoffs. He has coached in Denver, Milwaukee (five seasons), Seattle (seven seasons), Golden State (two seasons), and Cleveland (two seasons). He is 333-257 as coach of the Nuggets.
Another interesting fact on Karl’s journey has been his 2010 diagnosis of throat and neck cancer. Karl took a medical leave of absence for the second half of the 2009-10 season to receive treatment for the illness. By 2011, Karl was cancer-free and resumed full coaching duties once again.
Karl ranks sixth on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list. This is Karl’s first NBA Coach of the Year award.