Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau named 2021 NBA Coach of the Year

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Tom Thibodeau has staged upsets all season and has pulled off another one Monday.

Thibodeau won Coach of The Year for the second time in his career after leading the Knicks to a 41-31 record and breaking a seven-season playoff drought. The award doesn’t include the postseason when the Knicks were dropped in five games to the Hawks.

Thibodeau earned the honor in the 2010-11 season with the Chicago Bulls in his first season as an NBA head coach. Now honored in his first season as the Knicks’ head coach, Thibodeau has become the first person to be named NBA Coach of the Year in his first season as head coach with two different franchises. (Cotton Fitzsimmons won the award in his first season as the Kansas City Kings’ head coach, 1978-79, and again in the first season of his second tenure as the Phoenix Suns’ head coach, 1988-89.)

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau (99) looks at the scoreboard
Tom Thibodeau led the Knicks to their first playoff appearance in eight years.
Corey Sipkin

Thibodeau received 43 first-place votes and earned 351 total points to edge Phoenix head coach Monty Williams, who finished in second place with 340 points (45 first-place votes). The 11-point difference between the first- and second-place finishers marks the smallest margin since the current NBA Coach of the Year voting format was introduced in the 2002-03 season.

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder finished in third place with 161 points (10 first-place votes). Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.

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