Bucks Fire Mike Budenholzer
The Milwaukee Bucks have fired head coach Mike Budenholzer in a shocking move following the Bucks first-round loss to the Miami Heat which saw the Eastern Conference’s top seed and favorite eliminated early.
“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said in an official statement issued on Thursday. “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’s exit was a shock to many, especially considering his success in Milwaukee which is only 2 years removed from an NBA Championship. This past season, the Bucks won 58 games under Budenholzer and were the top seeded team in the East heading into the playoffs.
But the Heat upset the Bucks in the first round, which saw Milwaukee become only the sixth 1-seed in NBA history to lose to an 8-seed.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Budenholzer had two years left on his deal worth approximately $16 million. Budenholzer is just the fourth coach in the past 50 seasons to lead his team to the best record in the NBA and not return the following season, per ESPN.
The Bucks went 271-120 (.693) during the regular season with Budenholzer as head coach, which represents the best record in the league across that span.
Now, Budenholzer becomes one of the biggest names on the coaching free agent market and will surely be in high demand.