Bryan Colangelo, who has worked all his professional life in the shadows of his father, has won the NBA’s executive of the year award, a source with knowledge of the award has confirmed.
Colangelo won the award, sponsored by The Sporting News, over Pat Riley of the Miami Heat and John Paxson of the Chicago Bulls.
Colangelo — who has gradually taken over day-to-day operations from his Hall-of-Fame father, Jerry Colangelo — engineered the free agent signings of Steve Nash and Quentin Richardson over the offseason.
The Suns committed more than $100 million to the two players. This was an amount some considered lavish, particularly for Nash, who had turned 30 by the time the Suns signed him.
With those two players on board, the Suns made the third-greatest improvement in NBA history. They went 62-20, up 33 wins from last year’s 29-53 record. They also ran a relentlessly fast-paced offense considered the most entertaining in the game. The honor going to Colangelo is the third major award for the Suns this season.
Nash won the NBA’s MVP award, while Mike D’Antoni was named coach of the year. Colangelo will be presented with the award Wednesday at the crucial Game 5 of the Suns-Dallas Mavericks playoff series, which is tied 2-2. Jerry Colangelo has won the award four times.
Bryan Colangelo could not be reached for comment. Jerry Colangelo declined to comment on the award.