I've noticed that with most awards, the best players regularly get the awards with few exceptions. For example, LBJ has been the best player in the league for several years and has won 4 of the last 5 MVP awards. Dwight Howard was the best defensive player: he won the award three years in a row. Ben Wallace was the best defensive player: he won 4 out of 5 DPOY awards.
When it comes to coach of the year, however, the best coach is almost ALWAYS overlooked. It often goes to the coach who ended with the best record, or the best turnaround for a team. I think if we had a vote as to "who is the best coach in the league", everybody would agree it was Popovich, but not coach, no matter how AMAZING and how consistent, will EVER win 4 out of 5 COY honours.
Since 99, I think it is fair to say that only two guys were really front runners as the best coach in the game: Pop and Phil Jackson (with Riley in in the conversation and Doc Rivers a littler later). Not it seems that it is clearly Pop and Rivers and and Thibs may challenge him as well.
During their careers, Jackson and Pop have combined for 3 COY awards. Does that even make sense? I mean, Don Nelson has as many COY awards and Pop and Jackson (throw in Jerry Sloan if you like since he never won one at all) combined and he isn't half the coach they are? Don Nelson has 3 COY awards and Sloan has zero. Does that make ANY sense? I mean, Sam Mitchell can't even get a head-coaching job in the league right now and he has as many COY award as Jackson and more than Sloan?
So why is it that when it comes to the MVP voting, or the DPOY, voters want to pick the best player, but when it comes to the COY, voters seldom vote for the best coach at all.