The Phoenix Suns finally won something!
We all know that the Suns trainers are the envy of the league, and now they have an award to show for it this season. After coming up short in the Executive of the Year, Coach of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year, the Suns Head Strength & Conditioning Coach/Athletic Trainer Mike Elliott has been named NBA Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Strength & Conditioning Association (NBSCA), the NBSCA announced Friday.
"We are delighted to congratulate Mike Elliott on this very prestigious award," said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby in a prepared statement from the Suns. "Mike is an integral part of our world class training staff. His approach to the care and well-being of our players is innovative and highly effective. This is a well-deserved honor."
Elliott is responsible for all aspects of player strength and conditioning and assists VP of Athletic Care/Head Trainer Aaron Nelson with daily recognition, care and treatment of team-related medical issues.
"Mike is an integral piece of our sports medicine team," said Nelson. "His hard work, dedication and knowledge to help keep our players on the floor make him very deserving of this honor. I'm very proud of him."
Nelson previously won a 'Trainer of the Year' Award in 2009 from the NBA Trainers Association. Now his protege Mike Elliot has won his own award.
Elliot has been with the Suns for 11 years, and been in his current role as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the last five of those years.
So now the Suns have won two postseason awards after going 48-34 in a season they were supposed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel of the West.
Previous results (see the 'Storystream' on the margin for details):
- Most Improved (Goran Dragic): 1st place (WINNER!)
- Coach of Year (Jeff Hornacek): 2nd
- Executive of Year (Ryan McDonough): 2nd
- Sportsmanship (Channing Frye): 3rd
- Sixth Man of Year (Markieff Morris): 4th
- Most Improved (Gerald Green): 4th
- Most Improved (Markieff Morris): 10th
- MVP (Goran Dragic): 16th
Nelson and Elliot were re-signed to multiyear deals last summer, one of the underrated positive moves Lon Babby made last summer as the Suns tried bring themselves out of the muck of the West.