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Bucks put together initial list of potential coaching candidates

Kenny Atkinson in a suit

Oct 27, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson during the game between the Nets and the Grizzlies at the FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are embarking on the process of replacing the fired Mike Budenholzer, and they are targeting some experienced names in their initial set of interviews.

The Bucks have received permission to speak to Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson about their head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The team is also expected to speak to former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego and current Bucks assistant Charles Lee. Other candidates are also expected to emerge.

Atkinson is the biggest name here and certainly makes sense for an experienced contender like the Bucks. The 55-year-old spent parts of four seasons coaching the Brooklyn Nets, and has served as Steve Kerr’s lead assistant since 2021. That role could appeal to the Bucks considering the success Mike Brown has had with Sacramento after they hired him from the Warriors’ staff.

All three coaches have ties to their would-be predecessor. Borrego, like Budenholzer, is a Gregg Popovich disciple, while Atkinson was an assistant under Budenholzer in Atlanta. Lee has been an assistant under Budenholzer with Milwaukee since 2018.

Notably, there is one big name missing from the Bucks’ initial list of candidates. That does not mean he may not be a factor down the line, though.


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