Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer is DISCARDED after top-seeded Milwaukee fell to the Miami in the first round
- The Bucks entered the playoffs with the best record in the Eastern Conference
- Giannis Antetokounmpo criticized Budenholzer’s coaching after the series
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Mike Budenholzer has reportedly been fired as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks following the team’s first-round loss to the eighth-seeded Miami Heat.
ESPN announced the decision Thursday. Milwaukee hasn’t officially announced anything yet.
Budenholzer coached the last two games of Milwaukee’s season with a heavy heart as one of his brothers was killed in a car accident prior to Game 4. He did not publicize the tragedy during the series, but Lakers coach Darvin Ham – who as assistant worked under him in Milwaukee – revealed the news ahead of LA’s Game 6 win on Friday night.
“Coach Bud is going through a lot on a personal level,” Ham said. “He just lost his brother, so my apologies Bud if I wasn’t supposed to let anyone know. He and I are texting. I love those boys.’
Budenholzer confirmed the news to The Athletic through a team spokesperson.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks has reportedly been fired
“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said in a statement Thursday.
“Bud helped lead our team for five incredible seasons, to the Bucks’ first title in 50 years, and to an era of continued 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 re-energize our efforts as we build our next championship season.”
The Bucks won 58 games during the regular season under Budenholzer and entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
During the series against the Heat, Bucks MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo missed multiple games in the series after being injured in Game 1 of the series.
After the series, Antetokounmpo was critical of defense coaching and may have played a role in the decision to part ways with him.
“I don’t know, compose him even more, try to make him pass the ball,” said Antetokounmpo.
“Maybe switch the game up a bit, give Jrue (Holiday) a break. I don’t think as a team we made the right (adjustment) or we didn’t make as many adjustments as we could have against him.”