In his first season as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Jason Kidd placed third in the NBA's Red Auerbach Trophy voting, which is awarded to the NBA's Coach of the Year, the league announced on Tuesday.
Kidd finished a distant third to the winner, Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, and second-place Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, with 57 total votes and one first place vote. Last year, Kidd received one vote in his first season as a head coach, bringing the Brooklyn Nets into the Eastern Conference semifinals. He is the first coach in NBA history to lead two separate teams to the playoffs in his first two years as a head coach.
The Bucks finished the regular season with a 41-41 record, a year after holding the worst record in basketball (15-67). The 26-win increase from 2013-14 is the largest turnaround in franchise history, and the 2014-15 Bucks became the third team in the modern NBA playoff format to make the postseason after holding the worst record the year prior.
General manager John Hammond understood the voting results, but didn't necessarily agree with them...
Bucks GM John Hammond: "In my eyes, what happened in Milwaukee, Jason Kidd was coach of the year."— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) April 21, 2015
Hammond said Kidd lost two starters in Jabari Parker (injury) and Larry Sanders (contract bought out) and kept Bucks on track.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) April 21, 2015
Hammond: "We've had a nice chemistry within the team, and Jason was the leader of this team."— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) April 21, 2015
The biggest challenge of Jason Kidd's early coaching career is underway, with the Bucks trailing the Bulls two games to none in the first round of the playoffs, but some well-deserved accolades today.