San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford finished second in balloting for the NBA Executive of Year behind the winner Larry Bird of the Indiana Pacers.
As the Pacers’ director of basketball operations, Bird made several critical moves starting with the hiring of Frank Vogel as his coach, and also was responsible for the acquisition of David West and the trade for key role players like Lou Amundson and Leandro Barbosa.
Bird was voted the NBA's Executive of the Year on Wednesday, becoming the first person to be named the league's top executive, coach and MVP. He totaled 88 points and received 12 first-place votes from a panel of team executives throughout the NBA.
Buford made a strong case for the award, but finished a distant second with 56 points (eight first-place votes) despite the fact that the Spurs finished with the NBA's best record in the Western Conference.
He played a big role in sending George Hill to Indiana in exchange for rookie Kawhi Leonard, and the rights to Davis Bertans and Erazem Lorbek. San Antonio also made major moves in the second-half of the season under his supervision, trading Richard Jefferson for Stephen Jackson, and acquiring Boris Diaw and Patty Mills.
Buford has never won the award, despite being a big part of the Spurs' four NBA title runs during his tenure with San Antonio.
Los Angeles Clippers’ Neil Olshey finished third with 55 points (six 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.