Mike Budenholzer, Billy Donovan Voted 2020 NBCA Co-Coaches of the Year

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks and Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder have been named co-Coaches of the Year by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse finished third, just one vote away from making the award a three-way tie.

The Bucks closed the regular season with an NBA-best 53-12 record and are 1-1 in seeding games in Orlando. The NBA coaches' vote was based only on regular-season games. Budenholzer won the award solo in 2018-19. 

“First, congrats to Billy Donovan for the outstanding job he and his staff have done with the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Budenholzer said in a statement.“Another great year of coaching by Billy and, again, another great year of work by all the Head Coaches in the NBA. Thank you all for your vote and support. Thank you to our dedicated players and staff in Milwaukee. The players are special, the staff is special and I’m beyond fortunate to coach this great team and for this great organization." 

Donovan shepherded the Thunder to a 39-24 regular-season record despite massive roster upheaval following the departure of Russell Westbrook and Paul George via trade. The Thunder are 2-0 in the Orlando bubble. 

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the Coaches, they are a great group of people that I admire and respect,” Donovan said. “Receiving the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award alongside such a terrific Coach like Bud makes it even more special.  Individual honors to me have always been a reflection of good team dynamics, and I’m proud of the collective work that our players, coaching staff and the entire organization has put in this season.  I’m looking forward to what’s ahead in Orlando as we get back to basketball and using our platform for social justice.”

Nurse is considered by most to be the favorite for the media-awarded Coach of the Year honor with the Raptors sitting in the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference after Kawhi Leonard's departure.