The Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Mike Budenholzer after his fifth season with the franchise, the team announced.
Budenholzer compiled a regular season record of 391-271 (.693 winning percentage) over his five campaigns in Milwaukee. He oversaw the team’s championship run in 2021.
“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. “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.”
Budenholzer’s dismissal comes after a shocking loss to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. The Bucks came into the series with the league’s best overall record but were upset by the Heat, who were the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed following the play-in tournament.
Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo missed most of Game 1 and the following two contests with a knee injury.
Antetokounmpo returned for the final two games of the series but the Bucks squandered fourth-quarter leads in both tilts. They were outscored 32-16 in the final frame of Game 5 and were defeated in overtime, ending their season.
The Bucks’ playoff hopes ended prematurely two other times when they owned the league’s best overall record under Budenholzer. In 2019, they were defeated 4-2 in the conference finals by the eventual champion Toronto Raptors. The following year, they lost 4-1 in the second round to the Heat, who were the East’s No. 5 seed.
Budenholzer won Coach of the Year in the 2018-19 campaign, his first with the Bucks. He also won the award with the Atlanta Hawks in 2014-15. Previously, he was an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich for 17 seasons.
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