Leading Off

Leading Off: Warriors’ Steve Kerr should have been named top coach

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr directs his team against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball playoffs Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Oakland.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr directs his team against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball playoffs Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Oakland. AP

Somebody, please, give us a recount of those votes. Something must have gone goofy again at the Florida polls.

How else could the majority of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters vote for Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks over Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors for 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year?

Kerr should have clinched the award April 4 when he won his 63rd game, surpassing both Paul Westphal (Phoenix, 1992-93) and Tom Thibodeau (Chicago, 2010-11) for the most victories by a first-year NBA coach.

How many coaches with no coaching experience at any level have taken a 51-win team that fell short of expectations and turned it around to win a league-best 67 games? That’s a 16-game improvement, and it set the bar so high that anything short of an NBA title would be a disappointment.

No disrespect to Budenholzer, who received 67 first-place votes and 513 total to Kerr’s 56 and 471. It’s Budenholzer second season in Atlanta, where the former longtime assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio improved the Hawks by 22 games and lifted the team from a No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference last season to No. 1 this season. Although a 22-game improvement is impressive, many of those victories came against the weak East.

While Kerr was giddy Budenholzer received the nod, it doesn’t make it right.

Recount, anybody?

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch

Baseball, Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 p.m., Ch. 31: It’s World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner vs. National League MVP Clayton Kershaw.


Twitter chatter

@mattbarrows: “I love football. Love it, love it. I think it’s the last bastion of hope for toughness in America in men, in males.” – Jim Harbaugh via HBO


On this date

2006: Tony Parker scores 25 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 122-88 victory over the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs at SBC Center. San Antonio went on to win the series in six games.


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