Bucks’ New Coach

By JAKOB JENSEN

Mike Budenholzer has agreed in principle to a four-year contract to become the Milwaukee Bucks‘ head coach. The Bucks negotiated a deal with Budenholzer’s representative on Wednesday, hours after a breakfast meeting with Milwaukee’s All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and teammate Khris Middleton. Budenholzer has been a top target for the Bucks, and a finalized contract is expected to be completed soon.

The other finalist for the job, San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, was informed that he was out of the running on Wednesday. Budenholzer, who previously had coached the Atlanta Hawks, met with Bucks’ownership on Tuesday in New York league sources said. The other finalist for the job, San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, was informed that he was out of the running on Wednesday, league sources said. Budenholzer, who previously had coached the Atlanta Hawks, met with Bucks ownership on Tuesday in New York.

The Bucks wanted the two players, especially Antetokounmpo, the franchise star, to have a sense of the prospective next Bucks coach and encouraged the players to sit down with Milwaukee’s preferred candidate before the organization extended a formal offer. It is a relatively unusual move in a head-coaching search, but it clearly reflects the Bucks’ determination to make Antetokounmpo and fellow forward Middleton feel a part of the process. Budenholzer flew to Milwaukee for the Wednesday morning meeting with the Bucks players.