Bucks break off Mike Budenholzer

The Milwaukee Bucks are now in the market for a new head basketball coach after showing Mike Budenholzer the door. Despite winning at least 51 games in four of his five seasons and compiling a 271-120 record, according to reporting from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team fired him Thursday afternoon.

Budenholzer coached the team to the NBA Championship in 2020, which bough him some time, as his seat was starting to heat up. The Bucks had the best record in the Eastern Conference at 58-24, however Milwaukee was soundly beaten in the first round 4-1 by the Miami Heat, marking on the third time in league history that an eighth seed had defeated a number one seeded team. In that series, Bud’s limitations as a coach were put on display as he got the socks coached off him by Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. There were several gaffes by Budenholzer in the series, including not opting to double team Jimmy Butler, and most egregiously not calling a timeout in the waning seconds of Game 5 to set up a play to tie or win the game.

The new head coach, whoever that may be, is not coming into a situation to a roster that is bereft of talent, but it is now on Bucks brass to earn their money as they are not only going to have to find the right head coach, but will also have to make the necessary moves to improve the roster. Chris Middleton can enter free agency if he opts out of the last year of his current deal and Jrue Holiday is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract, but he has a $39.4 million player option, which he will almost certainly opt-in, for the 2024-25 season.

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