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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Articles tagged: Mike Budenholzer

Bucks coach backs Kenny Atkinson for Knicks job

Kenny Atkinson is emerging as a legitimate challenger for the New York Knicks’ head coaching job, and he has the support of one top NBA coach.

Speaking with Marc Berman of the New York Post this week, Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer stumped for Atkinson to become the next Knicks coach.

“I’d love to see him be coach of the Knicks,” said Budenholzer. “It’s a great opportunity. He understands he’ll have a bunch of opportunities and situations. He’s had an amazing life with a great family. It would be a home run for him. There’s nothing like coaching the team you grew up with, he worked with. And with what they’re trying to do and where they are.

“He’s just interesting because he’s so unique in that he is so true to player development and can really help players improve,” Budenholzer added about Atkinson. “The league has gotten a lot better with [development], but he’s one of the first — his ability doing it at a super-high level. And that’s married with a guy who has a great feel for the entire sport — five-on-five, game concepts, defensively and offensively. He has a very rare high ability to execute being a good player-developmental coach. Some people are very good at that and they’re not interested in the team stuff, five-on-five. It doesn’t click as well. Kenny does everything.”

Atkinson, who was let go by the Brooklyn Nets in March, spent four seasons prior to that as Budenholzer’s assistant on the Atlanta Hawks. That included Atlanta’s 60-win 2014-15 season where Budenholzer won Coach of the Year and the team sent a league-high four players to the NBA All-Star Game.

The 53-year-old Atkinson, indeed a widely-reputed talent development coach, appears to be gaining momentum for the Knicks job. While Tom Thibodeau remains the apparent frontrunner for the position, Atkinson might be the better fit for the team’s young roster of raw talent.

Drake responds on Instagram to comments by Bucks coach

Drake took to Instagram to seemingly respond to comments made by Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer after Game 4 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.

During Tuesday’s game in Toronto, the rapper and Toronto Raptors fan moved to the sideline from his courtside seat and gave Nick Nurse a shoulder massage. His physical contact with the Raptors coach looked odd on television and was a topic of discussion following the game.

Budenholzer was among those who felt Drake was out of line. Budenholzer took a bit of a shot at Drake calling him a “fan or whatever he is for the Raptors.”

Late Wednesday evening, Drake used his Instagram story to seemingly respond to Budenholzer’s comments. He seemed to imply that Budenholzer was just sore over his team losing to the Raptors.

Drake frequently sits courtside at Raptors games. However, his enthusiasm carried him a bit over the edge with the mid-game should rub, which has since resulted in a distraction. He doesn’t seem to believe there was any wrongdoing on his part.

Mike Budenholzer not a fan of Drake roaming the sidelines

Drake’s behavior during the Eastern Conference Finals has become enough of a topic of conversation that coaches are weighing in.

During Game 4 in Toronto, the rapper and Raptors superfan made his way over to coach Nick Nurse and gave him a massage during the middle of the game. This struck a lot of observers the wrong way, as nobody in the arena seemed interested in doing anything about Drake — ostensibly a fan — roaming the sidelines unchecked.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer shared those concerns, too.

There’s nothing wrong with Drake acting like an over-the-top fan, but it would probably be best if he stayed near his seat while doing it. It’s not a distraction the coaches need.

Mike Budenholzer reaches agreement to become Bucks head coach

Mike Budenholzer

Mike Budenholzer is trading one Eastern Conference team for another.

Budenholzer has reached an agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks to become their new head coach, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Bucks were in the market for a new coach after firing Jason Kidd midway through the season, his fourth with the team. Budenholzer was looking for a new job after parting ways with the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks. He also interviewed for the Knicks’ position.

The Bucks finished the season 44-38 — their best record since 2009-10. They have made the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, but they haven’t advanced past the first round since 2000-01 when they made the conference finals. They’re hoping that Budenholzer will be able to take them to the next level.

Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mike Budenholzer meet in Milwaukee

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Milwaukee Bucks could be getting closer to naming a new head coach, if one report is any indication.

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, Mike Budenholzer, who has been linked to the Bucks job, met with forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Obviously, little is known about the nature of the meeting or how it went. Budenholzer is a free agent coach who is surely assessing his options, and meeting with the cornerstone of one of the interested franchises makes plenty of logical sense.

The Bucks do reportedly have competition from a playoff team for Budenholzer’s services, but Antetokounmpo would be a huge draw for any potential coach.

Report: Raptors, Bucks both want Mike Budenholzer as next head coach

Mike Budenholzer

Mike Budenholzer parted ways with Atlanta Hawks last month following a disappointing 24-58 season, but he may have his pick of at least two other head coaching jobs this summer.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that Budenholzer has emerged as the “focus” of the head coaching searches for both the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks fired Jason Kidd early in the season, and the Raptors just announced over the weekend that they are parting ways with Dwane Casey. Casey led the team to a franchise-best 59 wins during the regular season, but Toronto was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.

Budenholzer led the Hawks to the playoffs in his first four seasons with the team, including a trip to the conference finals in 2015. He’s well respected around the league for his ability to develop players, and the Bucks were already reportedly hoping to beat out one team for his services. They may now have to convince Budenholzer that their situation is more attractive than the one in Toronto, which shouldn’t be all that difficult given that Milwaukee has Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Report: Bucks want to beat out Knicks for Mike Budenholzer

Mike Budenholzer

Mike Budenholzer is already a hot commodity on the NBA coaching market, and the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to throw their name into the mix now that they have officially been eliminated from the postseason.

It was previously believed that the New York Knicks’ job was Budenholzer’s top choice, but Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the 48-year-old coach is now preparing to pitch himself to both the Knicks and Bucks. Milwaukee is a much better team at the moment, and the thought of coaching Giannis Antetokounmpo is one that should intrigue Budenholzer, especially with uncertainty surrounding Kristaps Porzingis and his torn ACL.

As Berman notes, the Bucks will be moving to a new arena and are “not afraid to overpay for the right coach.” You would think Knicks owner James Dolan could offer Budenholzer more money, but that may not be the case.

“Budenholzer and his coaches’ approach to development is top-notch,” one source told Berman.

The Knicks have already interviewed numerous candidates while the Bucks are just getting started. Interim head coach Joe Prunty had a chance to state his case for the full-time job, but getting knocked out of the playoffs by a Boston Celtics team that is ravaged with injuries to key players did not help.

Budenholzer and the Hawks parted ways last week after a 24-58 season with a stripped-down roster. He previously led the team to the playoffs in his first four seasons, including a trip to the conference finals in 2015.