San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford is the recipient of the 2013-14 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award, the NBA announced today.
Buford assembled a roster this season that featured six players averaging double figures in scoring and eight players averaging 20 or more minutes. The Spurs clinched homecourt advantage for the 2014 postseason by virtue of having posted the league’s best record at 62-20 (.756). San Antonio was the only team to record 30-plus wins both at home (32-9, .780) and on the road (30-11, .732), and the 2013-14 campaign marked the 15th consecutive season that the Spurs posted 50-plus wins – an NBA record.
The longstanding trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker has been fortified in recent years with the additions of Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills (third seasons with the team), as well as Danny Green and Tiago Splitter (fourth seasons with the team). Buford added Marco Belinelli this past offseason, who fit seamlessly into the rotation, with averages of 11.4 ppg (fifth on the team) and 25.2 mpg (fourth on the team).
Buford becomes the third Spurs Executive to win the award, joining Angelo Drossos (1977-78 season) and Bob Bass (1989-90 season). The Spurs tied the fifth-longest winning streak in NBA history this season, when they peeled off 19 consecutive victories between Feb. 26-April 2.
In his 23rd year with the franchise, Buford has previously held the positions of Assistant Coach, Head Scout, Director of Scouting and Vice President/Assistant General Manager before being tabbed with his current title as Spurs General Manager in July, 2002. Buford also holds the overarching title of President of Sports Franchises for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, presiding over the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, the NBA Development League’s Austin Toros and the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, in addition to the Spurs.
Buford totaled 58 points and received nine first-place votes from a panel of his fellow team basketball executives throughout the NBA. The Phoenix Suns’ Ryan McDonough finished second with 47 points (five first-place votes) votes and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Neil Olshey finished third with 34 points (five first-place votes). Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.