Posted May 08, 2013

George Karl named Coach of the Year

Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets George Karl has been named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2012-13 season

This is George Karl’s first Coach of the Year selection in 25 years as an NBA head coach. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA announced Wednesday that Denver’s George Karl has been voted the Coach of the Year.

In his 25th season as an NBA head coach, Karl led the Nuggets to a 57-25 record, good for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. He earned 62 first-place votes, finishing ahead Miami’s Erik Spoelstra (24 first-place votes), New York’s Mike Woodson (six) and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (11). This is Karl’s first Coach of the Year award.

Karl boasts a career regular-season record of 1,131-756 and led the SuperSonics to the Finals in 1996. The 61-year-old has spent the last nine seasons in Denver after stops in Milwaukee, Seattle, Golden State and Cleveland. The Nuggets fell to the Warriors in the first round of this year’s playoffs.

Ian Thomsen made the case for George Karl in April, and Karl earned two nods from SI.com’s year-end award panel.

Other coaches who received a first-place vote: Indiana’s Frank Vogel (three), Memphis’ Lionel Hollins (six), Golden State’s Mark Jackson (three), Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau (two) and Houston’s Kevin McHale, Brooklyn’s P.J. Carlesimo, the Clippers’ Vinny Del Negro and Atlanta’s Larry Drew (one apiece).

33 comments
Holden
Holden

To all of you spouting off about Denver's early exit from the playoffs being evidence he isn't worthy...THIS IS A REGULAR SEASON AWARD!!  Karl lost this season's top scorer and 6th Man of the Year (Melo and JR), the primary player he got in return (Gallo) tore up his knee, lost LOTS of games to his starting point guard (Lawson) and many other key players during the season.


The Nuggets roster is COMPLETELY different from what it was just TWO years ago and this is the MOST games Denver has won since it's ABA days.  I'd call the job he did just short of amazing.

grizzlypete
grizzlypete

I like Karl but look at what Mark Jackson did with the Warriors this year. They are still playing while Karl and the Nuggets are out fishing.

Teejay
Teejay

Yep KARL is long overdue for this award! Bulls coach is also the EAST coach of the year

marino.eccher
marino.eccher

Given the congressional investigation that ensued when every single MVP voter didn't pick the right guy, the reaction to this has been downright muted.

Denver had a nice season, but I'm not sure what George Karl did that a handful of other candidates didn't do -- and I'm not sure what he overcame in the process.

JeffShields
JeffShields

Golden State improved by 24 wins while Denver had 19 more when compared to last year. Both are incredible achievements but  which is more surprising? I never would have predicted that GS would have such a big turnaround as quickly as they have. And Jackson's first place votes (3) compared to Karl's (62) is ridiculous.

AndreAnderson
AndreAnderson

"The Coach of the Year Award, brought to you by, Sympathy, the new fragrance in Sports."

Excellent home record for the Nuggets, no doubt, but there are/were better coaches out there than Mr. Karl. Congrats to him.

papacoolrice42
papacoolrice42

I like George Karl his first coach of the year award probably given to him because he should have won many times before and did not.I love what Mark Jackson did with Golden State this year. I live in NY and have been a Knicks fan for over 40 years and Woodson deserves credit with his senior citizen squad.The coach who should have won coach of the year is Lionel Hollins of the Grizzlies(Memphis).I know not a big market team,traded away Rudy Gay and became a better team,also plays the best team defense in the NBA.Remember way back when Zach Randolph was a problem child?Each year they have gotten better and nobody wants to play them.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

1 - Pops, bonus points for telling the NBA to shove it when they wanted to tell him what line up to use

2 - Tibbs

3 - Mark Jackson

4 - Mike Woodson

5 - George Karl

titotito
titotito

No love for M. Jackson, doubling his team's wins in a season?

dinohealth
dinohealth

Pathetic choice!  I guess it is the consolation prize for being nearly swept by the Warriors in the first round!  Mark Jackson is my Coach of the Year!  He took a lottery team, turned it around, made the Playoffs while dealing with key injuries all season, and, has them in the Second Round, beating Karl's Nuggets along the way with three rookies in the starting lineup!  I guess that is not enough!  Must be a lot of idiots voting, that can't accept how overrated Denver was all season!

mon1
mon1

what?...that is all i can say

B K
B K

How did Spoelstra get 24 first place votes and Thibodeau only 2?

Holden
Holden

@marino.eccher How many Nuggets were All Stars, this season?  None is the answer.  Denver played 17 of it's first 21 games...ON THE ROAD!  The Nuggets have neither a dominating inside presence, nor premier shooting, yet they had the 4th best record in the NBA.


I have no delusions about Karl being the best coach...Popovich is, hands down.  Still, no coach has done more with fewer stars on his team.  That not ONE starter was on his team, just two years ago, is testament to his coaching ability AND the job he did, this season.

Holden
Holden

@JeffShields I like Jackson...always have.  Still, he had two (or was it three?) All Stars, a former overall first pick in the draft (Bogut) and only won 47 games.  This is a REGULAR SEASON award.

dinohealth
dinohealth

@titotito  I guess I should have seen it coming when I saw SI rating Denver 3rd in the NBA in its last Power Rankings!  Ahead of Indiana, Memphis, Knicks, Spurs, etc!  I simply thought it was so surrealistic, I told them they were pipe-dreaming, then!  Never did I connect it with the audacity of this selection, though.  It never crossed my mind that writers writing about the sport could be so out of it!  Well, one good thing about the playoffs, the cream rises to the top; Denver is well on its way to somewhere between 12-14th, their appropriate power ranking!  Meantime, Mark Jackson's Warriors are playing in the Elite Eight! 

FuzzyManPeach
FuzzyManPeach

@dinohealth Pathetic? Taking a star-free team to the best home record in the NBA is a Herculean feat. But continue your dissertation, sorry for the interruption... 

josephfinn
josephfinn

@B K That makes zero sense.  Thibs gets to the second round of the playoffs with that banged-up lineup and only 2 votes?

Holden
Holden

@RayHuggyBearYoung @Holden One could say that...the Bulls, however, were barely over .500 in an unarguably weaker conference.  The Nuggets won 57 games after playing their first 17 of 21 games on the road.

 What's painfully obvious is, no matter how much fun watching them run up and down the court is--and it is fun--it's not a winning formula in the playoffs.  That Spurs game the other night is a great example of what a fundamentally sound defensive team can do when the clock is ticking down.  And the comeback was affected after Timmy couldn't go anymore!

The regular season award is pretty meaningless, but someone has to win it, and Karl got more out of less than any other coach, methinks.  If the award went to "Best Coach Currently Coaching," Pop would get my vote every year.

JeffShields
JeffShields

@Holden @JeffShields There was one All Star, David Lee and Bogut played in 32 out of 82 games and averaged 24 minutes per game. Since you thought the Warriors had 2 or 3 All Stars...and only had one seems to support what a great job Jackson did. And, who had a more surprising regular season, the Nuggets or Warriors?

dinohealth
dinohealth

@FuzzyManPeach @dinohealth  Taking a star-free lottery team, doubling its wins, to the Second Round in a year, making a few stars along the way (including a few rookies/look up Barnes), making the NBA's most exciting Superstar in years (lookup Curry/or, just wait for Playoffs MVP), beats tha sweetheart (Karl, literally) anyda!

smanj
smanj

@josephfinn @B K the vote occurs BEFORE the playoffs start...first day following pro sports??

JeffShields
JeffShields

@Holden@JeffShields Ty Lawson played in 73 games...not exactly missing a lot. Try again.

Rookies started 122 games for Golden State this season. No other playoff team has had its rookies start even 20 games.

After pointing out to others that this is a regular season award I now see you are now bringing up the playoffs. Talk about double standards...and your comments about Pop schooling Jackson isn't occurring tonight as Pop just got out schooled in San Antonio...and the same thing happened to Karl, as the Nuggets lost home court advantage in game 2 and we all remember how that turned out. The fact that we are even talking about the Warriors in round 2 speaks volumes about Jackson's coaching abilities. So keep talking...

Holden
Holden

@JeffShields @Holden This isn't the "Most Surprising Season" award, it's Coach of the Year.  The Nuggets won TEN more games than did the Warriors, and lost their "David Lee" when Gallo blew out his knee, as the Nuggets were making their stretch run, when they were under the gun, every night, to hang on to that third seed.  Gallo was Denver's leading scorer and a decent rebounder and defender, too.


Ty Lawson missed a lot of games, first with an Achilles strain, then a plantar fascia tear.  Wilson Chandler played his way into shape, after hip surgery and Evan Fournier started more than a handful of games.  It was "next man up" all season...as it was for other teams, too.

Golden State is doing well and has the lead, again.  Still, there's plenty of time for another comeback.  You can't help but love Jackson, but Pop will school him, this series.  As George Gervin was fond of saying, after blowing past his defender for a finger-roll, "Don't feel bad, young fella...I do that to everybody."


That's what Pop will be telling Jackson during the handshake after game five.

RAR
RAR

Throw in a few more exclamation points and even I might start to believe you.

ikhanx89
ikhanx89

@smanj @josephfinn @B K Josephfinn and BK were comparing the votes to Erik. Heat have no injured players, they are a stacked team. Erik is a trash tier coach. So, what they were saying was Thibs should have gotten more than Erik considering his team is banged up and basically played their bench as starters whole season. Put me as lead coach of Heat and I'll bring a trophy.

I take it you bandwagon sports only when it's playoff time and you only go with the #1 pre-season team (i.e. Heat in this case)

Don't bother replying. You are obviously ignorant and not worth any more of my important time.

Stay beta. I win.


smanj
smanj

@josephfinn@smanj@B KAh, so the most important criteria is having to "deal with a banged up line up"...sure, he must have been the ONLY coach this year that had injured players...you're an idiot...

josephfinn
josephfinn

@smanj @josephfinn @B K So Thibs didn't have to deal with a banged up lineup in the regular season?  I see you don't follow the NBA at all.