The Milwaukee Bucks made the surprising decision to fire first-year head coach Adrian Griffin after a 30-13 start, tied for the second-best record in the NBA. While the Bucks search for a replacement (likely former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers), Joe Prunty will act as the interim head coach. Prunty also served as interim head coach when the Bucks fired Jason Kidd during the 2017-18 season.
The decision to fire Griffin came as a shock, but was welcomed by some fans who did not like the hiring in the first place. Even though Milwaukee has one of the best offenses in the NBA, it is abundantly clear that they are not playing to their full potential. Furthermore, the lack of direction on defense and improvement in any phase of the game became more than the Bucks’ front office was willing to tolerate any longer.
And so, for the second time in eight months, Milwaukee is searching for a new head coach. As mentioned, Doc Rivers has been rumored to be the Bucks’ top choice to fill the role. Rivers is currently a NBA analyst with ESPN after he was fired as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers after last season ended. Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson (who was a finalist for the Bucks’ head coaching job this past summer) is also said to be an option.
The sudden coaching change does make one thing clear: Milwaukee is not taking a single year of their NBA Championship window for granted. Nothing less than excellence will be tolerated.
Former Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Adrian Griffin Releases a Statement After Firing
According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Griffin had the following statement after his dismissal from his role as the Bucks’ head coach:
“I appreciate the opportunity the Bucks gave me. You can’t control everything. I feel good about the job we did. I appreciate my coaching staff for all their hard work. I always wanted to be a head coach in this league. I couldn’t have asked for a better roster. I got to coach Giannis, Dame, Khris, Brook. Dream come true. Hopefully I get another shot at it, but overall, I’m just thankful.”
Whether Griffin will get another shot as head coach remains to be seen, but based on the details surrounding his firing, that may not come to pass.
The Bucks actually informally hired Rivers to be an advisor to Griffin due to the latter’s constant mistakes as a rookie head coach. Star players, most notably Giannis Antetokounmpo, publicly questioned Griffin’s schemes during media sessions.
In short, it does not seem like Griffin was willing to take the help being offered him. Prior to Milwaukee hiring him this summer, he had interviewed for 14 head coaching positions and did not get a single job.
It seems Milwaukee found out why that was so the hard way.