Mike D’Antoni Named
2004-05 Coach of the Year
Posted May 10 2005 11:46PM
NEW YORK, May 10 – Phoenix Suns Coach Mike D’Antoni has been named the winner of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2004-05 season, the NBA announced today.
D’Antoni, who is in his first full season as the Suns’ head coach, received 326 points, including 41 first-place votes, from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received. Indiana’s Rick Carlisle was second with 241 points (26 first-place votes) and Seattle’s Nate McMillan was a close third with 234 points (30 first-place votes).
D’Antoni, only the second Phoenix Suns coach to be honored as NBA Coach of the Year (Cotton Fitzsimmons, 1988-89), led the Suns’ explosive offense to a league-best 110.4 points per game, as they became the first team since the 1994-95 Orlando Magic to average over 110 points. The team’s 16.2-point increase from last season (94.2) ranked as the largest increase in team scoring since the advent of the shot clock. Phoenix topped 100 points in 68 of 82 games this season and broke the NBA single-season record for three-pointers made with 796 (previously 735 by Dallas in 1995-96).
D’Antoni brought 30 years of professional basketball experience to the Phoenix coaching staff in June 2002 and began his reign as head coach in December 2003. This is the second NBA head coaching stint for D’Antoni, who served as head coach of the Denver Nuggets in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season (14-36) and was the club’s director of player personnel in 1997-98. He was also an assistant for Portland in 2000-01 and a scout for San Antonio during the 1999-2000 campaign. During D’Antoni’s Italian League tenure from 1990-97, he led his teams to the playoffs each season and was twice named the league’s Coach of the Year.
The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Following are the balloting results for the 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year award and the all-time list of winners:
ALL-TIME COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
1962-63 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis*