Why Nick Nurse should not be the next Milwaukee Bucks head coach

Feb 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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On May 4, Mike Budenholzer was dismissed as the Milwaukee Bucks head coach. While Budenholzer was dealing with a family tragedy that likely affected his coaching in the first round loss to the Miami Heat, that wasn’t enough to save his job. Rumors of who the Milwaukee Bucks could hire to replace Budenholzer have flown fast and wide. However, the most prominent name that has been brought up by fans and a couple of analysts is Nick Nurse.

I believe if the Milwaukee Bucks hired Nick Nurse, it would be a mistake.

Nurse, like Budenholzer, was relieved of his head coaching duties. Nurse was dismissed by the Toronto Raptors earlier this year. The similarities do not stop there.

Why Nick Nurse should not be the Milwaukee Bucks next head coach: Similarities to Mike Budenholzer

While there are some similarities that make Nick Nurse attractive as a head coach candidate, like winning a recent championship and having a Coach of the Year Award, there are far more that make it seem likely that Bucks fans would have many similar complaints about Nurse as they do about Budenholzer.

The first is the championship perspective; many Milwaukee Bucks and NBA fans in general claim that Mike Budenholzer only has a championship because of Giannis Antetokounmpo. It is just as easy to claim that Nick Nurse only has one because of Kawhi Leonhard.

One main aspect of Nurse’s dismissal in Toronto was his lack of development of young players. Over the past five years of Mike Budenholzer’s tenure in Milwaukee, there were countless complaints of not developing young players, players who would go on to succeed (individually, not team-wise) elsewhere, the latest being Jordan Nwora and Sandro Mamukelashvili. Many Bucks fans also expressed displeasure with not force-feeding minutes to MarJon Beauchamp in his rookie season to speed his development. Now the same fans want Nick Nurse, a man who was fired in part for not developing players to replace him? That doesn’t make sense.

After looking at their records as head coaches over the last five years, there are similarities in postseason play and awards. However, Budenholzer has shown to be a better regular season coach, but all in all, it brings to mind the meme of Pam in “The Office” showing two pictures to Creed to find the differences before remarking “They’re the same picture”.