Milwaukee Bucks: Mike Budenholzer shares Coach of the Year honors from peers

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was named co-Coach of the Year, along with Billy Donovan, by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

The Milwaukee Bucks may have their eyes on bigger prizes this 2019-20 season, but the honors have started to slowly roll in.

As was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was named co-Coach of the Year, along with Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan, by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

This marks the second straight year that Budenholzer has taken home the honor, which obviously went hand-in-hand with being named NBA Coach of the Year for the second time in his NBA coaching career at the end of last year.

And as Woj noted in his article, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse came one vote away from making the award a three way split between himself, Budenholzer and Donovan.

Nurse very well might have the last laugh, given that he’s been viewed as the prohibitive favorite for this year’s Coach of the Year honors, but both Budenholzer and Donovan are equally deserving in their own right.

In winning the honor, Budenholzer provided a statement to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and thanked his peers for their support, the work of his players and honored the late Michael H. Goldberg, who had served as the executive director of the Coaches Association for more than 30 years:

“First, congrats to Billy Donovan for the outstanding job he and his staff have done with the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Budenholzer said in a statement. “Another great year of coaching by Billy and, again, another great year of work by all the head coaches in the NBA. Thank you all for your vote and support. Thank you to our dedicated players and staff in Milwaukee. The players are special, the staff is special and I’m beyond fortunate to coach this great team and for this great organization.

“Celebrating the memory of Michael H. Goldberg and continuing to bring honor to his great legacy of work on behalf of all NBA Coaches gives the Award additional significant meaning. Those of us lucky enough to know and work with Michael know how much he did for the sport and for coaches. As Michael was a terrific advocate for all of us, may we use our platform to raise awareness and speak out on the need for social justice, equality and inclusiveness in our society.”

The 50-year-old’s stint in Milwaukee has obviously been littered with all sorts of recognition and he’s definitely been among the central figures of the team’s sudden rise, along with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and reigning Executive of the Year and Bucks general manager, Jon Horst.

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Again, the Bucks have their attention directed toward bigger things, such as reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. But Budenholzer’s work continues to be recognized by his peers around the league and it’s just the latest indication that the Bucks continue to be seen as a model for success.

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