Best Coach - 2007
Ron Rothstein Miami Heat
So what is it that Pat Riley has for short, chubby, bald sidekicks? First, he had Stan Van Gundy, who might have been hopping barrels in a game of Donkey Kong rather than coaching an NBA team of giants. Now there's Ron Rothstein at Riley's side. Neither man looked all that impressive or had a stellar rise in the game. Yet both men proved formidable. Van Gundy was an able and animated head coach, leading what was a listless squad under Riley to the playoffs before he was fired. (Oh c'mon, you don't actually believe he voluntarily stepped down so he could spend every day with his kids do you? Puh-lease). This season, Riley stepped away from the team again as it struggled, leaving it in the hands of Rothstein, who immediately proved himself a worthy head coach during a Shaq-less seven-win stint. As if the roundball gods were out to punish Riley for his fickle comings-and-goings, Dwyane Wade suffered a serious shoulder injury on the day the former Showtime coach returned, hurting the Heat's hopes of repeating as champions. For his brief but impressive run as coach, we honor Rothstein as coach of the year. What, you thought we were going to give it to Nick Saban?