Milwaukee Bucks: Jon Horst deserves his flowers after 2020-21 title run

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

At the ripe age of just 38, Jon Horst has garnered respect amongst his peers and fellow colleagues throughout the league during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Of course, winning a world championship and signing Giannis Antetokounmpo to a five-year supermax extension prior to the season helps cement this. Yet, Horst made a name for himself previously by taking home the 2019 NBA Executive of the Year award. This was after the Bucks had a league-best record of 60-22 and reached the Eastern Conference finals in their first year under new head coach Mike Budenholzer.

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That is certainly a nice start to a young career that initially started off as the Manager of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons from 2005-2008.

Having felt the intense pressure during the 2020-2021 season to make it deep in the playoffs, Jon Horst overcame the many glaring obstacles that stood in his way and ultimately proved himself in more ways than one.

Jon Horst recently spoke to the media following the Milwaukee Bucks’ title run

A day after the 2021 NBA Draft concluded, Horst met with the local media to discuss all things Bucks. He went into depth about everything, with several talking points being a Mike Budenholzer extension, to the health of Giannis’ knee after a scary landing earlier in the playoffs, to this year’s upcoming free agency period.

Talk about refreshing. Horst was transparent, professional, and detailed, to say the least.

He obviously has a very high basketball IQ, as evidenced by his signings and trades this past season that resulted in the Bucks’ first championship in over 50 years. Horst is a straight shooter. He says it like it is and is very articulate. The bottom line is there is no fluff with him.

The offseason signing of Bobby Portis was brilliant and paid huge dividends. The same can be said for Bryn Forbes, who was a major contributing factor to the Bucks’ success during the season, specifically in round one of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. Trading for P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline gave the Bucks the defensive toughness they lacked as well as veteran leadership. Oh, and the offseason trade for point guard Jrue Holiday, followed by signing him to a long-term contract a few months later, could not have turned out any better as well, obviously.

Horst is fully aware of the fact that the Bucks have entered deep into the luxury tax after winning the championship. He knew the writing was on the wall in terms of entering the tax beforehand, given that it was inevitable with the major draft capital and player capital investment in the trio of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is a very expensive team. Being deep in the luxury tax will decrease Horst’s efficiency to spend in this year’s free agency. This is the cost of business when doing it the right way, which the Bucks have.

Fans should have nothing but faith and confidence in Jon Horst moving forward and for many years to come. He did face some heat this past season as it was almost a championship or bust season for the coaching staff and perhaps himself, but he undoubtedly played his part in snapping the team’s lengthy title drought.

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There is no better way to come out on top and to win a championship. Horst proved all the naysayers and doubters wrong, including myself.