In a surprising turn of events, the Milwaukee Bucks have decided to part ways with first-year head coach Adrian Griffin, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday. The Bucks, currently holding a commendable 30-13 record and the second position in the Eastern Conference, are making this significant coaching change in the midst of high expectations and aspirations for the season.
The decision comes after the Bucks’ management expressed their intent to quickly pursue an accomplished and available veteran head coach. Sources indicate that Doc Rivers is among the top candidates being considered to fill the coaching void. Veteran assistant Joe Prunty is slated to take over as the interim coach during this transition period.
This move comes on the heels of the team’s ambitious offseason acquisition of Damian Lillard through a blockbuster trade, a move that heightened expectations for the franchise to make a substantial impact in the current season. The decision to replace Griffin, who was appointed over the summer to succeed the long-time coach Mike Budenholzer, suggests a sense of urgency within the organization to meet the heightened expectations.
While the Bucks boast an impressive 30-13 record, placing them at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Defensive struggles have plagued the team, with a notable slip from the fourth defensive ranking last season to the 22nd position this year. Recent back-to-back games against the Detroit Pistons saw the Bucks conceding 141 and 122 points, raising concerns about the team’s defensive capabilities.
Adrian Griffin, 49, brought with him 16 seasons of experience as an NBA assistant, including the last five with the Toronto Raptors. His coaching tenure followed a nine-year NBA playing career, adding a wealth of basketball knowledge to the Bucks’ coaching staff.
Interestingly, as news of Griffin’s departure spread, an NBA insider shared insights with LandonBuford.com, expressing reservations about the potential appointment of Doc Rivers as the next head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. The insider referred to Rivers as the “Ultimate Choke Master” with ready-made championship teams and gave him the moniker “Can’t Close.”
As the Bucks gear up to face Cleveland on Wednesday with Joe Prunty at the helm as the interim coach, the NBA community awaits further developments in this unexpected coaching saga that has added a layer of intrigue to the Bucks’ promising season. The team’s pursuit of a new head coach, particularly the potential hiring of Doc Rivers, will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized in the coming days.