First crack on the pounding rock of public perception.

The NBA announced Tuesday morning that Spurs head coach/grumpy curmudgeon Gregg Popovich has been voted as the Coach of the Year for 2013-14.

The news comes as no surprise, as ‘Pop is widely considered the best active coach, and one of the greatest to ever put dry-erase marker to a clipboard. His San Antonio Spurs finished the regular season with the best overall record in the league at 62-20, all whilst massaging the minutes for his aging roster. No Spur averaged more than 30 minutes per game (Tony Parker came the closest at 29.9, but as he’ll tell you, he’s fine, Pop), yet a total of 6 Spurs averaged 0ver 10 points per game. Pop was even able to coax less-than-horrible seasons out of the likes of Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, and to top it off he coaxed a 22-point, 6-rebound game out of Austin freaking Daye! Congratulations Pop, on a job well done.

The relevant news here in Raptorland is that our very own head coach, Dwane “the Rock” Casey (how has that nickname not caught on?) came in fifth place in the ranking, finishing a few dozen points back of Charlotte’s Steve Clifford/the Car Czar (Yes, I watch Happy Endings). The full set of votes are tallied below:


Personally, the honor comes as somewhat of a surprise, as judging by the collective sentiment around here parts, benching Landry Fields is an offense punishable by death. However, 32 sportswriters who had a ballot clearly didn’t see it that way (what morons!). Rather, they found Casey’s steady guidance — having to cope with a major trade, managing two sophomores in the starting lineup — was crucial to the Raptors’ unforeseen success this season, and deemed his efforts worthy of recognition.

If you are so curious, a full list of ballots submitted can be found here, but I’ll save you the time. The five writers who put Casey first on their ballot are:

  • Canadice Buckner — Indianapolis Star (read her stuff for all your “Pacers’ sky is falling” updates)
  • J.A. Adande — ESPN
  • Eddie Sefka — Dallas Morning News (he’s probably a bit biased, given Casey’s history in Dallas)
  • Ron Tillery — Memphis Commercial Apparel
  • Vincent Goodwill — Detroit Free Press

The Toronto-based voters were The Star’s Doug Smith (everybody’s favorite around these parts), TSN’s Leo Rautins (also everyone’s favorite) and SN Radio’s Paul Jones. They had Casey ranked 3rd, 2nd and 2nd respectively.

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  • CP

    Paul Jones of Raptors Radio was also a Toronto-based voter (and put Casey second)

    • CP

      And Leo also had a vote and also put Casey second

      • DDayLewis

        Thanks man. I updated the post.

  • Josh

    Putting this theory out there right now before anyone else can claim it:
    As some have noticed, many COY winners over the years have had strangely unfortunate luck in keeping their jobs the following season (ie. Sam Mitchell, George Karl last season, and there are more).
    While everyone knows Pop is much too good to ever be fired, I believe that he will step down next season on a count of Tim Duncan choosing to retire this summer after once again falling just short of winning his fifth ring. Pop has said a number of times that he would retire with Timmy, so this is totally possible! Imagine the Spurs without Duncan or Pop, never thought I’d see the day.

    Oh and congrats Dwane on the recognition lol.

    • Will

      I don’t see Duncan retiring after this season whether they win or not. He’s still got a contract for next year and they’re still winning. It’s not like he’s grinding through the season with multiple injuries. What is he going to do from September to June that he enjoys more?

      • Josh

        Swim 😉

  • Ted

    Such a useless award. This should go to Pops every year. How did Casey get 5th, yet Carlisle who has over the hill vets like Carter, Marion, Calderon, Dalembert and still manages to get 48wins in the West not even get a vote.

    • afrocarter

      How is this a useless award?

      • Ted

        Do you really believe that Casey is the 5th best coach in the NBA??

        • afrocarter

          I don’t think it’s such a stretch. How many coaches do you think would have done a better job with our roster?

          And Casey coming in 5th doesn’t all of a sudden make this award ‘useless’. Having a COY award is a no-brainer.