Erik Spoelstra Voted Best HC over Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich in NBA App GM Survey

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 4, 2022

MIAMI, FL - MAY 29: Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat talks to the media after Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Erik Spoelstra (Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat was overwhelmingly selected as the NBA's best head coach in an annual survey of the league's general managers.

John Schuhmann of NBA.com provided a list of the top vote-getters from the GMs ahead of the 2022-23 season on Tuesday:

  • Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat): 52 percent
  • Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors): 22 percent
  • Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs): 7 percent
  • Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns): 7 percent
  • Tyronn Lue (Los Angeles Clippers): 5 percent

It's the third straight year Spoelstra finished atop the survey's coach rankings. He finished second behind Popovich before the 2019-20 season.

Despite the consistent acclaim from the league's top front-office executives, the Miami bench boss has never won the NBA's Coach of the Year Award while building a résumé that includes a pair of championships since taking over the team's staff in 2008.

Here were some other coaching-based results from this year's GM survey:

  • Best Motivator of People: Kerr
  • Best In-Game Adjustments: Lue
  • Best Offense: Kerr
  • Best Defense: Spoelstra
  • New Coach Who Will Make Biggest Impact: Darvin Ham (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Best Assistant Coach: tie between Kenny Atkinson (Golden State Warriors) and Charles Lee (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Active Player Who Will Become Best Coach: Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)

While the Heat are bringing back mostly the same core from last season's group, which posted the best record in the Eastern Conference at 53-29 and reached the conference finals, Spoelstra said it's still important to start with a fresh perspective.

"I think of the most important things that we all have to think is we all have to start with a blank sheet of paper and be open to how guys can be different," Spoelstra told reporters last week. "Rhythm can be different based on certain combinations. I don't want to assume."

The 51-year-old Illinois native added: "Each year is different. Last year was last year. Even though we're bringing the majority of the guys back, I do want to be open-minded to how to be different and hopefully better."

The Heat were projected to finish fifth in the East in the GM survey.

Miami gets the regular season underway Oct. 19 when it hosts the Chicago Bulls at FTX Arena, the first of four straight home games to open the campaign.