8. Hired Adrian Griffin
Hired Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin to replace Mike Budenholzer
In 2021, the Milwaukee Bucks were reportedly on the cusp of firing head coach Mike Budenholzer after repeated playoff exits. Then Kevin Durant’s toe was on the line, the Bucks made a run to the NBA Finals, and Budenholzer hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy instead of a pink slip.
That bought him a few years, but after failing to reach the Eastern Conference Finals in the two years after the title, Budenholzer was fired this offseason. There is a track record of contending teams firing a head coach and winning with his successor, and that’s what Milwaukee is hoping to do with new head coach Adrian Griffin.
Griffin beat out finalists Nick Nurse and Kenny Atkinson for the job, and he comes to the Bucks after five seasons as an assistant in Toronto. He made his career as a defensive coach, but the Bucks will need to hope he learned some offensive creativity under Nurse.
The Bucks felt they had to make a chance at head coach, but the odds are that Griffin will be a worse coach than Budenholzer was; he had the Bucks in the top-tier of contention for five consecutive seasons. There is a chance Griffin holds this team back from a second title; there’s also a chance he adds the spark needed to propel them back to the NBA Finals. It’s just a much smaller chance.