TORONTO — In the midst of the 2019 NBA Finals, the National Basketball Coaches Association took the time to honor Utah Jazz coaching legend Frank Layden ahead of Game 2 in Toronto, Canada.
Layden was announced as the recipient of the 2019 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday.
“Frank Layden represents the very best in coaching,” said National Basketball Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle, also head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. “He built a perennial winner in Utah with the Jazz and produced one of the great coaches in NBA history in Jerry Sloan.
“Frank was also the only person in NBA history to win NBA Coach of the year, NBA executive of the year and the NBA J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in the same year, doing so in 1984,” he continued. “Our sincerest congratulations to Frank Layden on this prestigious recognition.”
Layden, 87, is a native of Brooklyn, New York, but continues to reside in Utah. His colorful personality drew worldwide fame, notably during his tenure with the Jazz organization where he served multiple roles over two decades including general manager, head coach and president from 1979-99.
Not only did her oversee the Jazz’s two NBA Finals appearances as president in 1997 and 1998, he also drafted future Hall of Famers in Karl Malone and John Stockton who reshaped the organization. Jersey No. 1 continues to remain in the rafters at Vivint Arena in honor of his great contributions to the franchise.
“For several reasons, I am overwhelmed and pleased to be named the recipient of this year’s Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award,” Layden said through a statement. “First, Chuck Daly was a very good friend of mine for many years before either of us were connected with the NBA, and it is an honor to be recognized by an award of his namesake.
“Second is the wonderful camaraderie that comes with being a Coach in the NBA. My colleagues were wonderful and the best part of my coaching experience,” he continued. “They were great coaches and even better men. I am honored to accept this award from their ranks and on their behalf.
“Third, I am saddened that Chuck Daly and Michael Goldberg are no longer with us; two individuals who would’ve loved to be here to witness this today. Michael Goldberg, who played a great role in my life both in guiding me and sometimes holding me back from doing something stupid, does not get enough credit for his impact on the NBA coaching profession,” he continued. “Michael was integral, joining with some of our earlier leaders like Tommy Heinsohn, in getting the Coaches Association off the ground and giving it tremendous credibility. I can remember Michael Goldberg and David Stern working closely together and what a wonderful team they were in making the NBCA what it is today. I cannot stress enough how Michael was always there to help me and help other coaches regardless of what team they represented or how they long they have been in the NBA.”5 comments on this story
Layden is also a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. The National Basketball Coaches Association Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is selected annually by the Award Selection Committee and honors the memory of Daly, another Hall of Fame coach.
Jerry Sloan was also a previous winner of the award in 2016.
“I don't really believe I deserve this award,” Layden said. “But having come from and having reached a high level of mediocrity in the coaching profession, on behalf of all the C students in the world I’m going to take it anyway.”