Kerr reacts to Bucks firing Coach Bud two years after title
The Milwaukee Bucks made waves around the NBA on Thursday afternoon by firing head coach Mike Budenholzer.
The news perhaps didn’t surprise too many around league circles, considering the Bucks notched the league’s best record this season (58-24) only to be bounced in five games in their first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat.
But it is startling considering Budenholzer and the Bucks were celebrating an NBA championship less than two years ago.
“My first response is not necessarily shock,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday before Game 2 between Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers. “It’s more disappointment because Bud is a fantastic coach, just won a championship and has been wildly successful in his coaching career.”
Three of the last four NBA champions — the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Bucks — have fired their championship-winning head coach.
The Raptors fired Nick Nurse in late April after five seasons and a 2019 NBA title. The Lakers, 2020 champions, moved on from Frank Vogel after last season, and the Bucks just cut ties with Budenholzer.
Kerr, the defending champion with four rings on his coaching resume, is the lone survivor.
“This is the business we’re in,” Kerr said Thursday. “It happens quickly. Expectations every year for every team are so high, and only one team can win. It’s sad news for the coaching profession.
“We all believe Bud deserved a lot better. We also are aware that this is the job we chose and we’re all vulnerable.”
Budenholzer, who was an assistant coach under the legendary Gregg Popovich for all four of Kerr’s seasons he played with the San Antonio Spurs, departs Milwaukee with a .693 winning percentage and one championship ring over five seasons.
Maybe there’s a Kerr-Budenholzer reunion in store in the Bay Area next season.