It was announced earlier last month that the NBA awards would be decided based off of teams’ play prior to the hiatus forced by COVID. Earlier today, it was announced the Coach Bud and Oklahoma City’s Billy Donovan were voted co-Coach of the Year. Toronto’s Nick Nurse came in third, and was one vote away from a three-way tie for first.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2020
Coach Bud won the award last season as well when he led the Bucks to a league-best 60-22 record. The Bucks currently have the NBA’s best record again at 54-13. Budenholzer also won the award as the Atlanta Hawks head coach in 2015.
Billy Donovan is in his fifth season as the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has never had a losing record as coach. However, many believed that the Thunder would not have a good season this year. Despite this, Donovan and veteran guard Chris Paul have led their team to a 41-24 record. They are currently sixth in the West.
A Brief History of Coach Bud in Milwaukee
Coach Budenholzer took over a Bucks team that was on the verge of breaking through. Jason Kidd, the previous coach, was fired after ownership felt that he had taken the Bucks as far as he could. Enter Coach Bud, who was fired by the Hawks following a 24-58 record in 2018. A change of scenery, though, appeared to be just what Bud needed. He led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first season and won Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has thrived under his system, winning the MVP in 2019. In addition, it appears as if Giannis is primed to win MVP again this season. He is also expected to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Note: Mike Budenholzer and Don Nelson are the only coaches in Bucks’ history to win Coach of the Year as the head coach of the Bucks.