Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman are co-recipients of the NBA Executive of the Year award for engineering overhauls that so far have propelled their teams to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The league announced the award Tuesday.
Riley and Forman each received 11 of a possible 30 votes from a panel of team executives, making this the first time the award has been shared since its inception for the 1972-73 season.
Riley re-signed Dwyane Wade and added perennial All-Stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, forming the threesome that led the Heat to 58 wins and the second seed in the East behind Chicago.
He's sharing the award with Forman, who said he was "truly honored and unbelievably humbled."
It comes after he and executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson oversaw a makeover that lifted the Bulls from 41 wins and back-to-back first-round playoff exits to a league-leading 62 victories.
They fired Vinny Del Negro and replaced him with Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau. They also brought in Carlos Boozer and role players such as Kyle Korver to fill out the rotation after the "Big Three" joined in Miami.
It helped, too, that Derrick Rose emerged as the league's youngest MVP.
"This is a team award," said Forman, in his 13th season with the Bulls and second as general manager. "Our entire front office -- from everybody involved -- has got a piece of it. I'm just happy that if there's votes given, the Chicago Bulls are getting votes. That means we're doing something right."
Ironically, Paxson finished third with three votes even though he and Forman basically work in tandem. San Antonio's R.C. Buford was fourth with two votes, and Oklahoma City's Sam Presti, New Jersey's Billy King and New York's Donnie Walsh received one vote each.
"(Paxson) and Gar have done a great job," Thibodeau said. "I wish they both shared the award, but I'm thrilled for both those guys -- and all our scouts and management team. Those guys have done a fabulous job."