Okay, I know 'Drew wrote about how Iverson should have got the MVP, so I don't want to turn this into an anti-Suns thing, but Coach of the Year going to D'Antoni? -I can definitely see being more upset at that. This sounds like a "Stump the Shwab" question in the making.
First off, even though he was a first year coach (and there are plenty of challenges to that), what specific obstacles did D'Antoni have to deal with over the course of the year? When debating the MVP, everyone cites the slide the Suns went on for those 5 or 6 games that Nash was hurt. But as much as that's an argument for Nash, that's an argument against D'Antoni, that he couldn't keep it together.
And while we're talking about injuries, aside from Nash, who in that starting five spent substantial time on the DL? -Doesn't staying healthy help your team immensely? Also, while it's obvious the Suns have no bench, 3 of their 5 starters made the All-Star game. -And The Martix is far and away the most under-appreciated player in the NBA. Has Fantasy basketball taught us nothing?
I mean, did the Pacers go straight into the toilet when Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson were suspended and the league's best defensive player (Artest) was kicked off the team? Not exactly. Not at all!
Was it that the West is so much stronger that put D'Antoni over the top? Well, while the West is still definitely better than the East, having Shaq not there anymore dramatically changes its landscape. No one can debate that.
So Rick Carlisle, who came in second has somewhat of a gripe, but it has to be Nate McMillan who gets the shortest end of the stick here. Granted, Phoenix had the best record in the league (thank you Mr. Nash), but NO ONE had the Sonics getting in the playoffs at the beginning of the season. -Forget about winning the division, which they did. Even months into the season, viewers were subjected to psuedo-analytical TNT "When Will the Sonics Collapse?" pieces. For every commentator who mentioned the Sonics, it was a matter of when, not if, the clock would strike midnight. And it never did.
The fact that there's even talk about McMillan leaving Seattle to coach LaBron in Cleveland should send the collective espresso spitting out of Seattle's mouth. I don't know what Ray Allen is asking now that his contract is up, but if it's reasonable, that franchise would best serve themselves by keeping both McMillan and Allen around.
I can't condone Tony's joke of saying Seattle is in jeopardy of turning back into a hydro-planing town, so keep the strong foundation you already have together, Sonics!