Budenholzer out of work for less than three weeks


Mike Budenholzer was out of work for 20 days.

The former Hawks head coach reached an agreement to become the next head coach of the Bucks on Wednesday, according to a report by ESPN. The Hawks and Budenholzer mutually agreed to part ways on April 26 after the former NBA Coach of the Year interviewed with the Suns and Knicks despite having two years and $14 million remaining on his contract.

Although the financial details of their departure are not known, the Hawks are expected to recoup some of the money owed to Budenholzer now that he has another job.

The Hawks hired Budenholzer in May of 2013. In his five seasons with the Hawks, Budenholzer compiled a 213-197 record. He led the team to a 60-win season and berth in the Eastern Conference finals in 2014-15.

The Hawks announced the hire of Lloyd Pierce as head coach on Monday.

The Hawks are in the midst of a rebuild with a stripped down roster that went 24-58 last season. The lack of winning appeared to be one of several reasons Budenholzer was not happy with the Hawks and so quickly pursued another job.

“I never really thought of him leaving,” Kent Bazemore said at the introduction of Pierce on Monday. “I think I said at my exit interview, I figured he was here for the long haul. Things happen. Coach Bud has a good heart, a great heart. He did what’s best for him. You can’t knock a man for that. You can’t get upset. He will go somewhere and put his imprint on that franchise. He was coach of the year a couple years ago. The man knows his X’s and O’s. Won a lot in San Antonio. Last year was probably as hard on him as anyone else. For him to get out, he probably feels great about it and, like I said, I’m happy for him.”

ESPN reported earlier Wednesday the Budenholzer had a breakfast meeting the Bucks start Giannis Antetokounmpo. Budenholzer had been linked to the Bucks prior to the end of the season. The Bucks fired head coach Jason Kidd in January. He was replaced on an interim basis by assistant Joe Prunty, who led the team the rest of the season and into the playoffs that resulted 4-3 first-round series loss to the Celtics. The team announced it would not retain Prunty following the exit.

As for his end with the Hawks, Budenholzer remained quiet. He did give The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the following statement following the agreement to part ways. “I have a tremendous appreciation for my five years with the Hawks organization. I deeply value the players that I have been fortunate enough to coach and the coaches and front office that I have worked with and their relentless efforts towards building a successful team. I wish Tony and the entire ownership group, Travis and the fans of Atlanta, nothing but success moving forward.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

Young getting grasp of Hawks offense ... and those 30-footers
Young getting grasp of Hawks offense ... and those 30-footers

That’s the thing about a 30-footer – they are almost always wide open. Trae Young knows it. The Hawks rookie point guard hit a game-winning shot from well past the 3-point line last week for an exhibition win against the Spurs. Much focus has been – and will be – on Young’s shooting when the NBA regular season begins Wednesday...
Hawks waive Hunter, two others
Hawks waive Hunter, two others

The Hawks waived C.J. Anderson, R.J. Hunter and Thomas Robinson on Saturday. The moves brings the roster to 17 players, which includes the two-way contracts of Jaylen Adams and Alex Poythress. The team can have a maximum of 15 players on the roster, so Adams and Poythress will be sent to the team’s G League affiliate in Erie, Pa., when the league...
Hawks lose to Heat, finish 2-3 in preseason
Hawks lose to Heat, finish 2-3 in preseason

Jeremy Lin scored 20 but the Hawks lost to the Heat 119-113 Friday night in Miami. It was the final preseason game for the Hawks, who finished 2-3. Alex Len scored 14, Kent Bazemore added 13, Trae Young and Tyler Dorsey both had 11 and Alex Poythress finished with 10 for the Hawks. Young went 4-for-9 from the field and had five assists, three rebounds...
Hawks’ Kent Bazemore is last man standing
Hawks’ Kent Bazemore is last man standing

Kent Bazemore is the last man standing. Four seasons ago, the 2014-15 Hawks were a 60-win team and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. It seems like so long ago. One by one each player left in different ways. The distinguished starters departed when DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Kyle Korver...
Collins to miss start of Hawks’ season
Collins to miss start of Hawks’ season

The Hawks will be without John Collins for at least the first three games of the regular season with a left ankle injury. He is expected to be out at least 10 days. Collins had an MRI exam Monday that revealed mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle. He underwent a non-surgical procedure that day, described as an injection by a person...
More Stories