New York, NY (Sports Network) - For the first time in his 25-year career, George Karl has been named the NBA Coach of the Year.
Karl guided the Denver Nuggets to a team-record 57 wins, a league-best 38-3 mark at home and the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets, however, were ousted in six games by Golden State in the opening round of the playoffs.
"I am honored and energized to represent coaching and be their ambassador as coach of the year and continue to symbolize the great coaching there is in the NBA," Karl said in a statement Wednesday. "There are probably seven or eight guys who are deserving of it and another 10 or 15 other coaches who have done a great job and aren't getting any recognition."
Karl, who turns 62 on Sunday, captured the Red Auerbach Trophy after receiving 62 first-place votes and earning 404 points to outdistance Miami's Erik Spoelstra (190) and New York's Mike Woodson (127).
The sixth-winningest coach in NBA history, Karl has compiled 1,131 career victories and his streak of 21 consecutive non-losing seasons ties him with Phil Jackson for the longest such run in league annals.
Karl is the second Nuggets coach to win the award, joining Doug Moe (1988).