The Milwaukee Bucks fired Head Coach Mike Budenholzer on Thursday, just two years after leading the franchise to an NBA title. Budenholzer just finished his fifth season after the top-seeded Bucks were eliminated from the post-season in a stunning first-round collapse at the hands of the No. 8-seeded Miami Heat. It was a tragic series as well for Budenholzer, whose brother died in a car crash just before Game 4.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers expressed disapproval of the Milwaukee Bucks' choice to dismiss head coach Mike Budenholzer. The point guard took to Twitter to say, “Folks out here firing championship coaches as soon as they don’t win the chip…”
Lillard might have also been making broader observations about the NBA. Budenholzer (just fired by the Bucks), Nick Nurse (fired last month by the Toronto Raptors) and Frank Vogel (fired last season by the Los Angeles Lakers) are all now out of work. Three of the last four NBA championships have been won under supervision of these three coaches.
He put out the tweet an hour after the announcement of sacking Mike Budenhozer was made by the Milwaukee Bucks official Twitter handle. Bucks leadership called Budenholzer's firing "a very difficult decision" in a letter shared on Twitter. "We are grateful for the culture of winning and leadership that Bud helped create in Milwaukee," it further read. "This is an opportunity for us to refocus and reenergize our efforts as we continue building toward our next championship season."
In five seasons under Budenholzer, the Bucks had a 271-120 record in the regular season and went 39-26 in the playoffs. Milwaukee topped 50 regular season wins four times during that span, a feat the team last accomplished in 2000-01, and the Bucks headed into the playoffs as the top seed in 2019, 2020 and 2023.