In a shocking move, the Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Mike Budenholzer after the team crashed out of the NBA playoffs. Budenholzer had served as the head coach in Milwaukee since 2018 after leaving the Atlanta Hawks. Budenholzer's NBA coaching career began in 1996 as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.
Budenholzer led the Bucks to 58 wins and the Eastern Conference's first seed. However, the team struggled against the Miami Heat, losing in five games. The Bucks became just the sixth one-seed to lose in the first round of the NBA playoffs. In five years as the Bucks' head coach, Budenholzer went 271-120 in the regular season and won the NBA Championship in 2021.
Bucks Look To Reset After Playoff Loss
"The decision to make this change was very difficult. 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." Bucks GM Jon Horst said in a statement. Budenholzer was widely criticized for his time management in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs. His decision to not take a timeout as time expired meant the game-tying shot was unable to be made.
However, Budenholzer's firing is the latest in a fascinating trend for NBA coaches. The Bucks become the third championship winner since 2019 to fire their head coach this season. The Raptors recently parted ways with Nick Nurse after their Play-In exit. Meanwhile, the Lakers fired Frank Vogel after the 2021-22 season. In an era of unprecedented player talent, the expectations of success are even higher. No candidates have been linked to the opening as of yet.