Heading into this year’s NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks were seen as one of the favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
That expectation didn’t exactly pan out.
Instead, the Bucks, who owned the NBA’s best regular season record, were eliminated in the 1st round by the 8-seed Miami Heat.
As a result of the shocking playoff exit, there was plenty of speculation about the job security of head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Bucks had decided to dismiss Budenholzer.
BREAKING: The Milwaukee Bucks dismissed coach Mike Budenholzer, sources tell ESPN. Budenholzer is out after the East’s top-seed suffered a first-round loss to the Miami Heat. pic.twitter.com/wQp0Zk3lxi
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 4, 2023
Mike Budenholzer had been the head coach of the Bucks for the last 5 seasons, leading the team to the playoffs in each of this seasons.
Unfortunately, meeting disappointment once they reached the playoffs wasn’t really anything new for Milwaukee. It isn’t even the first time it has happened against the Heat.
Back in the bubble, the Bucks were the East’s top seed and were eliminated in round 2 by the Heat, winning just 1 game in that series as well.
They bounced back the following year to win an NBA title, but haven’t made it past round 2 since.
It seems that the ring wasn’t enough to keep him around after the playoff disaster and it’s hard to argue with the decision from the Bucks.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo would argue this season wasn’t a failure, it’s difficult to see it as anything else.
The Milwaukee Bucks had huge expectations for this season and were dominated in the playoffs by a team that was believed to have a lot less talent, especially after they lost Tyler Herro.
When you have a talent like Giannis on your roster, you simply can’t afford to waste seasons of his prime being eliminated in round 1.
Luckily for whoever takes over as their next coach, Giannis is still only 28, but they’ll have some serious pressure to succeed immediately now that the team has set the precedent that winning one ring won’t save you from underachieving a couple of years later.