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Bucks news: Mike Budenholzer agrees to three-year extension

James Foglio profile picture
Sports Editor
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Coach Bud Celebrates

Head coach Mike Budenholzer has agreed to a three-year extension to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks. Bud was entering the final year of his contract. He is now expected to remain with the organization until the summertime of 2025.

After the signing, Bucks general manager Jon Hurst mentioned, “Bud is a great coach and a fantastic partner to work with every day as we build a team that consistently competes to championships. We’re extremely grateful for the leadership Bud provides and we look forward to building on the success we’ve had over the last three years and congratulate Bud on this well-deserving extension.”

In a statement made by Coach Bud, he said, “The appreciation I have for being a part of the Bucks organization is hard to express. And today, to realize that Marc and Wes and Jamie from our ownership group, along with Jon as our GM, have extended my contract to be the head coach is very special, thank you.”

From 1996 to 2013, the 52-year-old coach served 17 seasons as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Then, from 2013 to 2018, he spent five seasons as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. On August 25, 2018, after finishing with a record of 213-197 (.520) in the regular season over that span, he agreed to part ways with Atlanta.

Coach Budenholzer was hired by the Bucks on May 16, 2018, replacing Jason Kidd, who is now the new head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Since Bud’s hiring, the team has qualified for the Eastern Conference Semifinals series for three consecutive seasons.

Having two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star Jrue Holiday made this all possible. The work Coach Bud put in to improve the team offensively and defensively should not go ignored.

Bucks’ franchise history and Coach Bud’s awards

In the 2014-15 and 2018-19 seasons, he also won Coach of the Year. Plus, he won the NBCA Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2020. In 2015 and 2019, Coach Bud also served as an All-Star Game head coach. In the 2020-21 NBA season, he coached the Bucks to a record of 46-26 (.639), ranking first in the Central Division and third overall in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee swept Miami in their first-round playoff series last season, and they defeated the Brooklyn Nets in overtime of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

After beating the Hawks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the organization were finally able to get over their ECF-hump. It was like some kind of curse. That was the team’s first NBA Finals appearance since the 1973-74 season. From 2001 to 2018, the Bucks had eight first-round playoff series losses and nine seasons of failing to qualify for the postseason.

In the 1974 NBA Finals, the Bucks lost their series in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics. Anyways, the Bucks advanced to the 2021 NBA Finals, where they defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 6, winning their second championship in franchise history. This was also their first title since the 1970-71 season. The Bucks swept the Baltimore Bullets in the 1971 NBA Finals.

Coach Budenholzer was already a four-time champion as an assistant coach under Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, winning in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007. However, it should go without saying the feeling and experience are entirely different when a coach has to lead his team on his own; the self-satisfaction a head coach has after winning an NBA championship is unmatched. In 637 games coached, Bud accumulated a record of 375-262 (.589).

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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