Mike Budenholzer Among Finalists For Nets Coaching Job

Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer is among the finalists for the Brooklyn Nets’ coaching vacancy, per NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic.Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Sacramento Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez and Phoenix Suns assistant Kevin Young are also finalists, Charania added.

It is not known if Nets interim coach Kevin Ollie is up for the job on a full-time basis. Fernandez and Young, by the way, were also said to be finalists for the Charlotte Hornets’ vacancy, as Steve Clifford is moving into a role with the front office.

Budenholzer, 54, was fired by the Bucks last season after compiling a 58-24 record. However, Milwaukee lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.

He went 271-120 in five seasons overall with the Bucks, guiding them to the NBA championship in 2021.

Before that, he coached the Atlanta Hawks for five seasons, compiling a 213-197 record. That included a 60-22 mark in 2018-19. Budenholzer spent 17 seasons as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs before taking the job with the Hawks.

The Nets fired former head coach Jacque Vaughn in February. It was reported then that Budenholzer may be among the candidates.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the team going forward,” GM Sean Marks said in a statement. “Jacque has represented this organization with exemplary character and class for the past eight years. The consistent positivity and passion he poured into our team daily will remain with the players and staff he interacted with throughout his tenure. We thank Jacque for all he has done for the Nets and the borough of Brooklyn, and wish him, Laura and their family nothing but the best in the future.” 

Vaughn compiled a record of 71-68 (.511) with the Nets, who are 32-49  this season. They are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings

According to NBA insider Ian Begley of SNY, some within the Nets had concerns that Vaughn could hinder their chances of landing a top player in free agency. Several players had also lost confidence in Vaughn.

Vaughn is 129-226 as a head coach with the Orlando Magic and Nets. He was the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in December during the 2022-23 season. 

The Nets got swept by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2023 playoffs.

Ashish Mathur contributed to this report.


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