Everyone from the Milwaukee Bucks’ owners to the general manager to the players were enamored with new head coach Mike Budenholzer.
The Milwaukee Bucks made a major move with their coaching staff in the offseason. They let interim head coach Joe Prunty go after he filled in for the fired Jason Kidd down the stretch. They followed that up by signing the hottest name on the coaching market in Mike Budenholzer.
Budenholzer was coming from the Atlanta Hawks after a down season. With the franchise looking to rebuild, Budenholzer wanted no part of that. Part of what attracted him to Milwaukee is the opportunity to win now and win a lot.
One of the biggest takeaways from the Bucks 2018 Media Day was how enamored everyone is with Budenholzer and what he brings to the table.
Wes Edens, one of the Bucks principal owners, had this to say about their big hiring:
We think Mike [Budenholzer], and his staff, is really the right guy for the job and we just couldn’t be more excited about having him here.”
Edens later continued to gloat about their star offseason addition:
I think the one obvious difference around the team is that Bud has a system. He has a system that he plays, he has players he wants to play in the system, you can see it in the practices, you can see it in his approach to the game, and I think that’s a material change. I think giving people a job, telling them what their jobs are, and hiring the right people for those jobs is essentially what a system means. It’s had great success in the past, and let’s hope it has great success here.
That may have been a thinly veiled jab at the past coaching regimes, however, Edens isn’t wrong. The Bucks certainly went after a certain skill set in outside shooters and appear to have a plan in place for their team. That is a bit of a change from past seasons so the potential is there for the Bucks.
General Manager Jon Horst also jumped all over the Bud-train, praising their star acquisition:
It starts with [Coach] Bud. I think that’s the biggest addition to our team and our franchise this summer. With Bud and Giannis, I truly feel like we have a path. With Giannis, you can pick a style of play, you know the type of players that fit, the kind of culture we want to create, and to have a coach that feels so strongly about the style of play that he’s had success with — and he’s seen success as an assistant coach and a head coach — for us, I feel like we have a direction and path that we can follow, and will take us to success.
Giannis Antetokounmpo also contributed to the mix stating how great the new head man has been so far:
So far it’s been amazing. The coaching staff is unbelievable. They really care about the team and the players. Whenever you call them, whenever you take them to get some shots up or to be there and watch some film, they’re always there — basically from 8am to 7pm in the practice facility. And Coach Bud has been amazing. He’s letting us play, he’s letting us be basketball players, and what he’s put in our offense and the way we’re going to play this year, it’s going to be free.
It’s certainly a different vibe with Budenholzer as the Bucks head coach instead of Jason Kidd. After playing uninspiring and disappointing basketball for most of last season, hope once again takes over Bucks’ fans hearts. The potential is certainly there for Milwaukee to gain home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and advance out of the first round.