DENVER – Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri was named the NBA's executive of the year on Thursday, a day after George Karl was named the league's top coach.
Ujiri, the first African-born GM in major American sports, built the Nuggets team that won an NBA franchise-record 57 games and went an NBA-best 38-3 at home before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.
Ujiri assembled a team that had nine players average between 8 and 16.7 points.
Ujiri raised eyebrows earlier this spring when he proclaimed the Nuggets, in the midst of a 24-4 run after the All-Star break, weren't quite ready to contend this year. He was proven right when the third-seeded Nuggets were beaten in six games by the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry.