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NBA Coach of the Year

Who was selected—and why

"The National Basketball Association (NBA) named its 1999 Coach of the Year a few months ago. The honor did not go to the coach who had won the most games. It didn't go to the coach with the best players or the biggest payroll. It didn't even go to the coach of the team with the most-improved record.

Amazingly, the coach selected is in his rookie year. He coached his team to only a .500 record. They didn't make the playoffs. In fact, the winning coach's team lost more games this year than last year.

But the Red Auerbach Trophy was given to Doc Rivers, coach of the Orlando Magic, because under his leadership the team played so far above its expectations and ability.

Before Rivers came, Orlando's management decided to rebuild: Four of the five starters were traded or let go. The front office frankly told fans this would be a rebuilding year, which in sports language means, "Expect to lose a lot."

Rivers's four starters weren't even drafted out ...

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