News Trending Viral Worldwide

The Milwaukee Bucks Have Fired Coach Mike Budenholzer

When the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks lost their first round series to the 8-seed Miami Heat in five games, the expectation was that changes were on the horizon for the 2021 champs.

The Bucks’ struggles were not new, as the halfcourt offense bogged down, their defensive strategy yielded a number of threes (which Miami made at an alarming clip), and they twice blew double-digit leads in the fourth quarter of Games 4 and 5. Given those are issues that have popped up in past playoff defeats, there were rumblings that head coach Mike Budenholzer could be on the way out in an effort to bring on a new voice.

On Thursday evening, word broke that was indeed going to be the case, with Budenholzer’s tenure in Milwaukee ending after five seasons. Bucks GM Jon Horst released a statement thanking Bud for his time but noting it was time to “refocus and reenergize.”

“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” said Bucks general manager Jon Horst. “Bud helped lead our team for five incredible seasons, to the Bucks’ first title in 50 years, and into an era of sustained success. We are grateful for the culture of winning and leadership that Bud helped create in Milwaukee.

“This is an opportunity for us to refocus and reenergize our efforts as we continue building toward our next championship season.”

Budenholzer unquestionably unlocked a new level for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, compiling a 271-120 record in his five seasons, alongside a 39-26 playoff record. However, the championship season was their lone trip to the NBA Finals, as they fell short of expectations as a top seed on a few occasions under Budenholzer — which had him on the hot seat entering that 2020-21 season.

What remains to be seen is how many roster changes are on the way for the Bucks alongside a new head coach, as they have a number of players entering free agency or with player options still to be decided this summer. Even with some roster uncertainty, with Giannis on board, the expectations in Milwaukee will be to contend, and while they may be right Budenholzer’s message had run its course, finding a replacement who will be better won’t be an easy task. One would expect the Bucks’ search to include assistant Charles Lee, as well as some of the established and available championship-winning coaches from years past like Nick Nurse and Frank Vogel.