Bucks Dismiss Rookie Head Coach Adrian Griffin After 43 Games

‣ The Milwaukee Bucks have fired their first-year head coach, Adrian Griffin, just 43 games into the 2023-24 NBA season, marking one of the shortest coaching tenures in NBA history.
‣ Several Bucks veterans, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, reportedly lost faith in Griffin’s ability to coach the team.
‣ The Bucks are reportedly planning to pursue ex-Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers as their next head coach.

Details

Adrian Griffin, the first-year head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, got the boot on Tuesday. This happened just 43 games into the 2023-24 NBA season. Bucks general manager Jon Horst didn’t find it easy. “This was a difficult decision to make during the season,” he admitted.

He didn’t waste time though. “We are working immediately toward hiring our next head coach,” he announced. The Bucks appreciated Griffin. They thanked him for his hard work and contributions to the team.

Griffin’s stint was among the shortest in NBA history. It’s right up there with Rudy Tomjanovich (43 games with the 2004-05 Lakers), Bob Weiss (30 games with the 2005-06 Sonics), and Jerry Tarkanian (20 games with the 1992-93 Spurs).

Several Bucks veterans, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, reportedly lost faith in Griffin. They doubted his ability to coach the team. Griffin, 49, was still grateful for the opportunity to coach Milwaukee.

“I appreciate the opportunity the Bucks gave me,” Griffin told Bleacher Report. He added, “You can’t control everything. And I feel good about the job we did.” He thanked his coaching staff for their hard work.

Griffin always wanted to be a head coach in the NBA. He loved his roster. “I got to coach Giannis, Dame, Khris, Brook. Dream come true,” he said. He’s hopeful for another shot at it.

Joe Prunty, a veteran assistant, will take over as interim coach. Horst will speak at a news conference Wednesday, before the Bucks’ next home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Milwaukee is reportedly eyeing ex-Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers. Rivers, 62, was hired as an ESPN analyst in May 2023 after getting fired by the Sixers. He even served as an informal consultant to Griffin, as asked by the Bucks.

The Bucks hired Adrian Griffin during the offseason to replace longtime coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer was fired after Milwaukee’s first-round exit to the Miami Heat last postseason. In September, the Bucks acquired Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns.

Despite what Milwaukee’s record shows, the contender has underperformed this season. The Bucks are 30-13 (.698) and entered Tuesday night’s game ranked No. 2 in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee’s .698 win percentage is the best for a team that fired its head coach during a season since David Blatt’s 30-11 (.732) record with the Cavaliers in 2015-16. However, the Bucks’ defense has been especially disappointing this season.

Following Milwaukee’s 128-119 loss to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament on Dec. 7, Griffin called a meeting. He met with Antetokounmpo, Lillard, Brook Lopez, and Khris Middleton. They discussed what wasn’t working and which players weren’t being utilized on the team.

Griffin had spent 16 seasons as an NBA assistant, including the past five with the Toronto Raptors. His decision to pursue coaching followed a nine-year NBA playing career. Milwaukee is 5-6 so far in January.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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