Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors has won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award for the 2015-16 season, it was announced Tuesday.
Kerr is expected to receive the trophy prior to Game 5 of the Warriors’ first-round series against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
Complications from two offseason back surgeries forced Kerr to miss the first 43 games of Golden State’s title defense — with interim coach Luke Walton posting a record of 39-4 in Kerr’s absence — but he ultimately won the balloting in a very deep field not only for his coaching but his role in building the culture that put the Warriors on a path for a record-setting 73 wins.
Kerr receiving 64 first-place votes and 381 points in balloting among sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the U.S. and Canada. Portland’s Terry Stotts was second with 335 points, while the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich was third with 166 points. Walton tied for eighth with 5 points.
Fueled by a 24-0 start, which bettered the previous league record for an unbeaten launch to an NBA season by nine games, Golden State went 73-9 in the regular season to trump the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best single-season mark in league history.
Kerr finished second in Coach of the Year balloting behind Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer last season, which was Kerr’s first season as a head coach. That team went 67-15 en route to winning the Warriors’ first championship in 40 years.