New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has been named the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year, it was announced on Monday.
Thibodeau was recognised for leading the Knicks to their first playoff berth since 2013 in his first season in charge – the franchise lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference first round.
The 63-year-old received 43 first-place votes and 351 total points to beat Phoenix Suns counterpart Monty Williams to his second Coach of the Year award, while Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder finished third.
Thibodeau also won the Coach of the Year award in his first season as a head coach with the Chicago Bulls in 2010-11.
??? ?????????: ????? ?? ??? ???? (????, ????)— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) June 7, 2021
The 10th NBA coach to win the award multiple times. pic.twitter.com/Z99PtzluQ9
The veteran is now the first person to be named NBA Coach of the Year in his first season as a head coach with two different franchises.
Thibodeau is also the 10th head coach to win the NBA Coach of the Year Award more than once and the eighth to do it with multiple franchises, while he is the third head coach to be selected as NBA Coach of the Year with the Knicks, joining Red Holzman (1969-70) and Pat Riley (1992-93).
Led by Thibodeau, the Knicks ended the regular season tied for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference (41-31) as Julius Randle earned All-Star selection for the first time in his career and the Most Improved Player award.
The Knicks starred defensively throughout the season – leading the NBA in points allowed (104.7), opponents' field-goal percentage (44.0) and three-point percentage (33.7), while New York ranked fourth in defensive rating (107.8).