After five seasons under Mike Budenholzer, the Milwaukee Bucks’ front office has now put Adrian Griffin at the helm as the franchise’s next head coach.
Throughout his tenure, Budenholzer led Milwaukee to three top-seed finishes in the East and brought home the Bucks’ first title in 50 years. The 2022-23 playoffs marked the first time under Budenholzer’s tenure that the Bucks failed to escape the first round.
There’s no way Adrian Griffin could bring this level of sustained success, right? Right?
Here are three explanations as to why it might be realistic to think Adrian Griffin is here to stay:
3 Facts suggesting Adrian Griffin is a long-term coaching fit for the Bucks
1. If the Greek shoe fits
When the job first became vacant, there was chatter around a cunning veteran to fill the job. Nick Nurse was the frontrunner, which many assumed would make the Bucks’ coaching choice a simple one. After all, Nurse is a championship-winning coach.
And yet, there was one factor in the hiring process that became so overlooked that in the end, it became really no decision to make at all: Who does Giannis want to work with?
Giannis Antetokounmpo met individually with each of the Bucks’ final coaching candidates. According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Antetokounmpo approved the hiring of Griffin.
Milwaukee’s front office has shown tremendous trust in Giannis Antetokounmpo to not only be a leader, but a voice of reason. Enabling Antetokounmpo to be a key decision-maker in the hiring means that this star-coach relationship is only the beginning of Griffin’s time in Milwaukee.
2. It all comes full-circle
While Adrian Griffin is a Wichita, Kansas, native, he might just be Milwaukee’s next “hometown hero”.
Griffin is no stranger to the Bucks basketball, both as a player and coach. In 2008, Griffin was part of a three-team trade that sent him to Milwaukee in the latter stage of his career (albeit he never suited him for the team). Later that year, Griffin was brought back to work under Scott Skiles as an assistant coach.
There’s something to be said regarding consistency in an organization. Griffin joins a brief list of individuals to coach a team they previously played for, and re-joins a Milwaukee organization that prides itself on a winning culture.
While an entire decade (and then some) has elapsed since he last donned Milwaukee colors, this hiring is certainly a feel-good story in the making. If the Bucks took a flyer on him both as a veteran player and an assistant coach, then there is surely a high level of confidence displayed for Griffin’s leadership abilities.
3. “Real-world” experience
Do you ever hear people talk about “real-world experience” and wonder what exactly that is supposed to mean? I mean, I was under the impression that everything falls into the real-world category.
In this case, and in the basketball world, there really is no substitute for being in the moment.
Adrian Griffin has over a decade of NBA coaching experience and a championship with the 2019 Toronto Raptors to show for it. What’s perhaps most impressive about this year is Griffin served as a lead assistant coach under a first-year coach in Nick Nurse.
Griffin’s expertise goes beyond the NBA, however. In 2014, Griffin helped lead Team USA to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup, coaching stars such as Stephen Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis, and more.
Adrian Griffin brings much more than a knack for developing players the right way; he brings an extensive background of coaching superstar players.
Having a coach that has served on a championship-winning club, a gold-medalist national team, and an appetite for more, brings a competitive edge back to Milwaukee.
Having Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stamp of approval doesn’t hurt, either.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.