Thunder's Mark Daigneault Named 2023-24 Coach of The Year

Photo: Instagram/Mark Daigneault

Mark Daigneault, the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has been named the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2023-24 season. Under his guidance, the Thunder achieved the remarkable feat of finishing first in the Western Conference, making them the youngest team ever to clinch such a position in either conference.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, an All-Star guard for the Thunder, initially joked about Daigneault's coaching style, describing him as "annoying" and "always nagging." However, he later praised Daigneault for his unwavering standards and his ability to hold every player accountable, regardless of their status on the team.

Daigneault, at 39 years old, becomes only the second coach in Thunder history to win the Coach of the Year award, following Scott Brooks in 2010. He edged out finalists Chris Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jamahl Mosley of the Orlando Magic.

Photo: Instagram/Mark Daigneault

Doc Rivers, head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, lauded Daigneault's achievement, highlighting the difficulty of cultivating a winning culture with a young team.

Daigneault's journey to success began in the G-League, where he spent five years as a head coach, boasting an impressive winning record and multiple playoff appearances. He took over as head coach of the Thunder in 2020, inheriting a rebuilding team from Billy Donovan.

Despite a challenging start, Daigneault gradually led the Thunder to significant improvement, culminating in a standout season with a 57-25 record and a top seed in the West. His success is attributed not only to the exceptional talent on the team but also to his effective communication skills and commitment to collaboration.

Players like Jalen Williams have commended Daigneault's approachability and dedication to the game, emphasizing the coach's extensive preparation and willingness to listen to input from everyone involved.

Daigneault, in response, emphasizes the collective effort of the team, underscoring the importance of collaboration in achieving success on the court.

Overall, Daigneault's recognition as Coach of the Year reflects his ability to inspire and lead a young team to surpass expectations, setting a strong foundation for the Thunder's future endeavors.

Read Next: Timberwolves Coach Chris Finch Suffers Knee Injury After Collision

Source: NBA 


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