NBA Coach of the Year Award A Curse? Frontrunner Mike D'Antoni Says Being a Winner Has Risks

By Joe Bacaron, Posted: 04/20/17 02:01PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni is the frontrunner of the NBA Coach of the Year award 2017. However, the man behind the "seven seconds or less" offense is wary about winning it again.

The Italian coach knows what he is talking about, considering the fact that he won it once before in 2005 when the Suns, with Steve Nash as the head of the snake, were laying waste to the rest of the NBA with their unstoppable offense. In 2008-2009 season, he got transferred to the New York Knicks where he instituted the high-octane offense once again.

His stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, was like a bad dream even if he reunited with his old point guard Nash on that team. Not everybody bought into the system, which resulted to the dysfunction.

He is now the favorite to win the NBA Coach of the Year once again, as he guided the Houston Rockets to one of the league's best offenses behind only the Golden State Warriors. The 65-year-old said that the award oftentimes go to the underdogs.

"Otherwise, Golden State and what they're doing, or what San Antonio's doing, but as people said, we're not going to make the playoffs, or barely make it, and then we have 55 wins," he told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. "So, that's how you win Coach of the Year, and that's why most Coach of the Years get fired the next year. You overperform, then you come back to normal and they fire you."

One upside of being considered for the NBA Coach of the Year plum, however, is that it proves D'Antoni has a good group of guys in the Houston Rockets who are willing to sacrifice numbers for the good of the team. One of those who made the sacrifice was James Harden who, although his numbers are up across the board, readily accepted the role of point guard when D'Antoni first broached it to him.

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