In the wake of winning the World Series, Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein spent time reading up on the San Antonio Spurs to study the organization’s culture, according to an article in The Athletic.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich laughed and called Epstein’s actions “flattering.” But the truth is that several teams across numerous sports leagues have sought out the Spurs for advice on building a winning culture. For instance, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn has developed a bond with Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, who sent him a text message this week wishing him luck in the postseason.
“The culture that San Antonio has in their sport, although it’s different than our sport, is still about dealing with their players and coaches and how you want the organization to be seen,” Quinn told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. “We can learn from everybody, man.”
Said NBA commissioner Adam Silver: “Michael Goldberg is a legend in basketball circles and has distinguished himself by his relentless advocacy on behalf of NBA coaches and his deep caring for everyone involved with our game. This new award reflects his vital and everlasting contributions to the NBA.”
The NBA Players Association has conducted its own year-end awards balloting after each of the last two seasons separate from the NBA’s array of year-end awards voted on by media members. The NBA’s annual Executive of the Year award is also voted on exclusively by league executives.
The coaches decided to follow suit to reward the winning coach for both on-court success and off-the-court impact in the community as well as to pay tribute to Goldberg, who became the NBCA’s first executive director in 1980, six years after it was founded.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be recognized by this award,” Goldberg said in a statement. “I have been very fortunate to work with the National Basketball Coaches Association for over 35 years. During this time, I have found the coaches to be passionate, wise, and caring leaders. This award, determined by peer vote, is tremendously meaningful to our NBA Coaches, the League, as well as for my family and me.”