George Karl of the Denver Nuggets was named the NBA Coach of the Year on Wednesday, the first time in his 25-year career he claimed the award.
Karl piloted the Nuggets to a team-record 57 wins, a league-best 38-3 mark at home and the third seed in the Western Conference.
Their post-season was disappointing, however, as they were ousted in six games by the Golden State Warriors in the first round.
"I am honored and energized to represent coaching and be their ambassador as coach of the year and continue to symbolize the great coaching there is in the NBA," Karl said in a statement.
"There are probably seven or eight guys who are deserving of it and another 10 or 15 other coaches who have done a great job and aren't getting any recognition."
Karl, who turns 62 on Sunday, captured the Red Auerbach Trophy after receiving 62 first-place votes and earning 404 points to outdistance Miami's Erik Spoelstra (190) and New York's Mike Woodson (127).
He became the second Nuggets coach to win the award, after Doug Moe in 1988.
Karl is the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history with 1,131 career victories. His streak of 21 consecutive non-losing seasons ties him with Phil Jackson for the longest such run.