Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Mike Budenholzer

Budenholzer out after 5 years with team, following first round playoff exit
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball...
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 4:56 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2023 at 5:10 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - The Milwaukee Bucks have parted ways with head coach Mike Budenholzer, the team said in a statement Thursday.

“The decision to make this change was very difficult,” said Bucks general manager Jon Horst. “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 is out after 5 years with the team. The Bucks won their first championship in 50 years under Budenholzer in 2021, but often came up short despite stellar regular seasons.

This season marked the third time that Budenholzer’s Bucks achieved the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But they failed to advance to the NBA Finals all three times.

The decision to move on came after this year’s team had the best record in the league, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat, in only 5 games. It was just the 6th time ever that a #1 seed had fallen to a #8 seed.

And Budenholzer had been criticized for his decision-making during back-to-back collapses in Games 4 and 5 to settle their fate. Budenholzer did not use timeouts during either 4th quarter meltdown. And in overtime of the decisive Game 5, Budenholzer left two timeouts on the table as Milwaukee failed to get a shot off when they had the ball down by two points for the the final 10 seconds.

The coach reportedly lost his brother in a car accident just before Game 4 of that series.

“Coach Bud is going through a lot on a personal level,” said Lakers coach Darvin Ham (who had long served as Budenholzer’s assistant before leaving for Los Angeles). “He just lost a brother, so, my apologies, Bud, if I wasn’t supposed to let anybody know. He and I’ve been texting. I love those guys. They’re a part of my basketball family.”