Best Coach Houston 2006 - Jeff Van Gundy
Readers' Choice: Phil Garner
In Houston, sports championships -- in sports that people actually care about -- are rarer than Matthew McConaughey's Oscars. So getting a nod as Best Coach is not about the win-lose record, it's about how you explain the (not good enough) win-lose record. And no one does it better than the perpetually hangdog Van Gundy, who has mastered the art of mumbling criticisms that sound reasonable when you hear them but appear Bobby Knight-like when they hit cold print. "It turns my stomach, frankly, to watch that tonight," he'll say, or "It rips my guts out that we're not a really, really, really committed, competitive team." Luckily, he's also a pretty good coach. If he could just keep the team's stars from getting hurt, the Rockets might actually become a legitimate NBA team.