Bucks fire Budenholzer as coach after early playoff exit
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks have fired coach Mike Budenholzer just over a week after their stunning first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat spoiled a season in which they owned the NBA’s best record.
Budenholzer’s ouster comes just two years after he directed the Bucks to their first NBA title in half a century. The move also comes three weeks after the NBA finalized Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s purchase of a 25% stake in the team.
“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said Thursday in a statement announcing the move. “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.”
The Bucks posted the most combined regular-season and playoff wins of any team during Budenholzer’s tenure and had the league’s best regular-season record in three of his five seasons on the job. He posted a 271-120 regular-season record and 39-26 playoff mark in Milwaukee.
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Steve Megargee, The Associated Press