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The W - Basketball - Hubie Brown named Coach of the Year
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Battlezone
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.21
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Hubie Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year award Wednesday for leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a team-record 50 wins and their first playoff berth.

Brown -- at 70, the oldest coach in the league -- beat Utah's Jerry Sloan in a close vote. Brown also was honored as the top coach in the 1977-78 season with Atlanta.

Hubie Brown was retired from coaching and working as a TV analyst just two years ago.

Brown received 466 points, including 62 of 122 first-place votes, from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

Sloan got 424 points, with 56 top votes. Milwaukee's Terry Porter and Miami's Stan Van Gundy, both rookie head coaches, tied for third with 54 points and one first-place vote.

Brown was retired as a coach and working in TV when he took over as Memphis' coach two weeks into last season, when the team won 28 games -- a franchise record then.

This season, the Grizzlies went 50-32 and are playing the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

___________________

UNAPOLOGETICALLY BIASED RANT AHEAD-

Okay, so somebody explain this to me. Hubie Brown and Jerry Sloan were considered the frontrunners for this award, and the thinking seemed to be either, "Let's give to Hubie, 'cause he's OLD" or "Let's give it to Jerry, because we super-smart experts expected the Jazz to be lousy this year". And then the results come in an Minnesota's Flip Saunders finishes BEHIND Terry Porter and Stan Van Gundy?

To quote Frosty: TRASH.

Minnesota won 58 games and won a division title in the toughest division to come through the league in some time. After starting 9-8, they won 28 of their next 35 games to head into the All-Star break. After a slip up in early March, they went through Sacramento and San Antonio to pick up the #1 seed in the west, and held off the hottest team in the league to win the Midwest Division.

Oh, and that hottest team? The team that's won 13 straight games? The team that's heavily favored to win the title? San Antonio. Their last loss? March 23-to Minnesota.

Minnesota added Sam Cassell, Latrell Sprewell and Ervin Johnson through trades and Trenton Hassell and Michael Olowokandi arrived as free agents. The injuries came, too, with Wally Szczerbiak, Troy Hudson and Olowokandi, most notably, missing extended time, and still Minnesota established itself. And yet Minnesota was the most consistent team in the league throughout the year. It's not easy adding a bunch of new pieces to a team and seeing constant success throughout the year (See Lakers, Los Angeles). Flip deserves recognition for that.

None of this should take away from what Memphis and Utah accomplished this year. They took some very big steps in a very tough division. But they still finished eight and sixteen games behind Minnesota.

KG's going to get his MVP. Kevin McHale will get some consideration for Executive of the Year. But Flip deserved to be awarded for his coaching job this season, regardless of what happens in these next two months.



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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
Good point, but the fact is that though Minnesota went through a lot of problems this year, they were still expected to be good. They did better than expected, but only by around 8 games or so. The fact that the T-Wolves have never made it past the first round is also a minus, since the feeling is "Saunders' real test will come in the playoffs."

Memphis, however, has been a crap franchise for years, and Hubie came out of the woodwork to not only take them to the playoffs, but improve them to such an extent that some people even considered them a major darkhorse in the West. If I had a vote, I would've voted for Hubie too.



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Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.45
You can make a case for a lot of coaches. In no particular order: Van Gundy took a team a bunch of people said Pat Riley bailed out on, to the play offs. Jerry Sloan took a consensus "rebuilding year" team that lost 2 HOF players almost to the playoffs. Saunders took almost an entirely new team and moulded them around KG to great effect, while battling injuries most of the season. Bzd and Silas took crap teams and made them respectable.
Any way you slice it, there's many deserving choices, but it doesn't always come down to who the best coach is.
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.70
Brown was considered old and out of touch. He took a franchise never in the playoffs and got them there. He also got the team to be a team. There are many worthy candidates but what he and Jerry West have done in less than 2 years is pretty amazing.



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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.56
Could you cry a little more up in Minnesota? Hubie FUCKING Brown got the MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES into the playoffs.

You got a guy with a MVP season, and a great supporting cast, and you think your coach did something really extrodinary?

Try doing something other than bailing in the first round this season. Memphis might, but Jeez, I am sure half the team had vacations booked for this time of year!



Thank you for your irrelevant opinion.
Battlezone
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Since: 27.2.03
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.21
Hey, there was a time when Flip FUCKING Saunders getting the MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES in the playoffs was cause for parades in Minneapolis. But I don't remember him getting Coach of the Year then, either.


    You got a guy with a MVP season, and a great supporting cast, and you think your coach did something really extrodinary?


And I ask-what, exactly did Phil Jackson do in 1996 with Jordan besides keep air in the basketball?

And Coach of the Year rewards an individual's REGULAR season. So spare me the usual tripe about them not making it out of the first round.





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haz
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.12
While I don't want to be as angry as Stagger about this, I do believe that Hubie really deserved this award.

The Grizz have been the laughing stock of the NBA for so many years, back to the Vancouver days. Jerry West deserves credit for bringing in the right talent, but Brown made them into a good team in one year.

The T-wolves have great talent and Flip has done a great job with the team there as well, but on paper they should be as good as they are. Not sure that is so true about Memphis...

If anyone else deserved this award it was Jerry Sloan for almost taking that Utah team to the playoffs...





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Since: 2.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
    Originally posted by Battlezone
    Hey, there was a time when Flip FUCKING Saunders getting the MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES in the playoffs was cause for parades in Minneapolis. But I don't remember him getting Coach of the Year then, either.


      You got a guy with a MVP season, and a great supporting cast, and you think your coach did something really extrodinary?


    And I ask-what, exactly did Phil Jackson do in 1996 with Jordan besides keep air in the basketball?

    And Coach of the Year rewards an individual's REGULAR season. So spare me the usual tripe about them not making it out of the first round.




As soon as Jerry Sloan wins one, Flip (or his fans) can whine about not having one.



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Since: 7.1.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.09
Porter or Brown deserved it in my opinion. Both took teams that noone had any expectations for mediocrity (let alone success) in, and took them into the playoffs. I can see the argument for Saunders, but come on, when you have Cassell and Spree' and KG out on the court, it's not exactly the coaching that's going to get the job done at that point.



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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.54
Didnt mean to seem angy, I assure you I was not!

Brown deserved it.

Flip, well, he deserves whatever he gets too!



Thank you for your irrelevant opinion.
ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Well, you take a look at the Grizzlies, whose previous best record in franchise history is 28-54, and see that they jumped to 50-32. The Timberwolves jumped merely eight games, from 51-31 to 58-24.

The Grizzlies didn't take any high-profile moves to improve their playing personnel, unlike the Timberwolves, who acquired Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell. Cassell made the All-Star team, and Sprewell might very well have joined him in most circumstances.

Hubie took a team that was more or less the same team Memphis had last year, and made them believe in themselves. He established a system and a level of play that was good enough to make them the surprise team in the NBA this year. The words “Grizzlies” and “playoffs” were uttered in the same sentence for the first time (unless you include the sentence “No way in hell the Grizzlies make it to the playoffs”, which was a common refrain since their inception).

The Timberwolves have made the playoffs the last eight consecutive years, so winning the Midwest Division for the first time certainly wasn't that much of a stretch. Especially because KG finally had a couple of playoff veterans to help him out.

I'm not dissin' your boy Flip, and certainly the Timberwolves have had a spectacular season this year. But I'd put him below Hubie Brown (for the reasons I just mentioned), Jerry Sloan (for somehow coaxing 42 wins out of a Utah squad depleted by the loss of Stockton and Malone), and Stan Van Gundy (who the heck expected the Heat to break their playoff slump this year?)

Don't worry about it... there's no way they don't give the MVP award to KG. And even though Jermaine O'Neal's an MVP candidate (and I'm biased about Pacer players), I'd vote for KG if I had a vote.



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While I have sympathy for his physical problems, and wish him the best, why do I think he will come out of his surgery and rehab in better shape than Shaq? (Couldn't resist, especially after the Suns blew them out last night).
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