Beating the Heat

Playing basketball – or any sport for that matter – gets much harder when temperatures are above 90.  True.

The heat only affects one team?  False.

As most have heard, the Air Conditioning unit stopped working at the AT&T Center during Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals between the Spurs and Miami Heat, reminiscent to the Summer and AAU games that all of these elite athletes have played in.

Yes I said it – they are all elite athletes.

However, the thought presented by media personnel (I decided not to name names in this post) that it affected one team more than the other is ridiculous.  Both teams were playing in the same arena, obviously.

Professional athletes understand that hydrating and stretching are an important part of the game that have to be done consistently.  Only one player had to leave Game 1 on Thursday due to affects of the heat – Lebron James.

It’s no secret that while I admit King James is the best player in the world, I don’t care for all of his antics.  However, the best athlete in the NBA tonight showed that he had not been properly hydrating over the 5 days of rest between Friday’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1.

You can say what you want about it, but when only one player is forced to come out of the game because of cramps when the game is played in 90 degree temperatures, the evidence is quite conclusive.

South Texas is currently in a heat wave, during which the high temperature has been 95+ degrees for 1-2 weeks straight with high rates of humidity.  The power had been out across parts of the San Antonio area throughout the day prior to Game 1.

The fact that some people are calling this a conspiracy is asinine.

The Air Conditioning did not affect the outcome of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals.  Bottom line.

Rant, over.

How the NBA Names a “Coach of the Year”

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich with the Red Auerbach Trophy after being named the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year. (via San Antonio Express-News)

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich with the Red Auerbach Trophy after being named the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year. (via San Antonio Express-News)

As many of us have heard, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was named the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year.  This is the 3rd time he’s accomplished the feat – joining Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to do so.  But how did he win this one?

If you don’t know how the voting works, 124 members of the NBA media submit ballots with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place candidate.  A candidate receives 5 points for a 1st place vote, 3 points for a 2nd place vote and 1 point for a 3rd place vote.  Voting members include newspaper beat writers, TV sports talk-show hosts, color analysts and play-by-play announcers.

Popovich finished with 59-1st place votes, 23-2nd place votes and 16-3rd place votes for a total of 380 points.  Of the voting members from San Antonio, Mike Monroe from the San Antonio Express-News was the only one to not place Popovich 1st on his ballot.  Monroe placed “Pop” 2nd behind the Phoenix Suns’ Jeff Hornacek (Hornacek finished 2nd in the stadings with 339 points).  The other San Antonio voters were Bill Land, play-by-play commentator for Spurs Television, Bill Schoening, play-by-play commentator for the Spurs on the radio, and Jeff McDonald from the Express-News.

Once those points are removed, “Pop” finished the voting with 362 points – still 23 points ahead of Hornacek.  Twenty-six people left Popovich off of their ballots including:

  • Bill Oram – Orange County Register
  • Bob Cooney – Philadelphia Daily News
  • Brendan Brown – MSG Network
  • Brian Wheeler – Fox Sports Radio/620 AM, Portland
  • Charles Gardner – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Chris Denari – Fox Sports Indiana
  • Chris Sheridan – Sheridanhoops.com
  • Craig Ackerman – Sportstalk 790 AM, Houston
  • David Mayo – Mlive Media Group, Detroit
  • Eric Hasseltine – 92.9FM ESPN/680 AM, Memphis
  • Gary Washburn – Boston Globe
  • George Blaha – WXYT/Fox Sports Detroit
  • Glenn Consor – 106.7 The Fan, Washington, D.C.
  • Jim Paschke – Fox Sports Wisconsin
  • John Denton – OrlandoMagic.com
  • Keith Pompey – Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Kevin Calabro – ESPN Radio, Seattle
  • Mark Followill – TXA-21/Fox Sports Net, Dallas
  • Michael Wilbon – ESPN (Pardon The Interruption co-host)
  • Paul Jones – Raptors Radio
  • Rick Bonnell – Charlotte Observer
  • Stacey King – Comcast SportsNet, Chicago
  • Steve Buckhantz – Comcast SportsNet, Washington, D.C.
  • Steve Martin – Bobcats Radio
  • Vincent Goodwill – Detroit News

Hornacek was only left off of 21 ballots (click here for the official results from the NBA).  3rd place in the voting was Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls with the Charlotte Bobcats’ Steve Clifford in 4th.  Not receiving any votes were Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and Indiana’s Frank Vogel.  Three coaches all finished with 1 point – Scott Brooks from Oklahoma City, Mark Jackson from Golden State and Jason Kidd from Brooklyn.

While this season’s Coach of the Year results are quite plain and simple, what remains to be seen is how long Popovich will continue to coach the San Antonio Spurs.  If he continues much longer, there is a chance he may become the first coach to win a 4th award.

Emphasis on chance.