Milwaukee — Doc Rivers hasn't been officially announced as the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, but that's just a formality at this point. Bucks players addressed his arrival Wednesday following a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he agreed to a $40 million contract through 2026-27. According to Shams Sarania.
Less than a year later, the Bucks fired longtime head coach Mike Budenholzer after last season's first-round exit in the playoffs.. As a result, they will now be paying three different head coaches, per Sarnia, at least for the time being. That's a big investment, especially for a small market group. Budenholzer's contract extension — signed in August 2021 — runs through the 2024-25 season. Griffin signed a multi-year deal last summer, though it's unclear when his deal will expire.
During a press conference Wednesday to discuss Griffin's departure,.
“Those are tough decisions, tough discussions when they happen or need to happen,” Horst said. “I'll focus on the last part. It's about this ownership group — Jimmy and Dee Haslem, Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan — Peter [Feigin]'s support, my ability to lead and be a part of this organization to try to do everything we can to enrich this group.
“It's a belief in those guys. Those guys who are going to go out and play the Cleveland Cavaliers. We believe in this team at the highest level and we want to make sure we do everything we can every step of the way. It changes, it's not the same every day, and you have to have that pulse, You have to explore it, you have to learn from it, and then you have to make bold decisions if you have to, and they're fearless. They've supported us in doing that along the way, so I'm thankful for that.”
Not only will the Bucs pay three coaches. Rivers' contract would make him one of the league's highest-paid coaches annually, behind Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat and Monty Williams of the Detroit Pistons. (Greg Popovich does more, but he has additional responsibilities as president of the San Antonio Spurs.)
The Bucs' decision to part ways with Griffin was surprising, despite their stellar record, especially on the defensive end. Horst and Co. believed that a new coach “can enhance this team from a leadership standpoint, from an experience standpoint. We want to try to bring in a coach who can take us to the next level that we think we can go with this team. .”
On that front, initial reactions from players talking about Rivers have been positive.
“I've never had anything but the utmost respect for him,” Brooke Lopez said. “I saw him coaching those Celtic teams when I first came into the league and got to know him better. [Kevin Garnett] And [Paul Pierce]. Building a relationship, having a lot of respect for everything he did, he's on and off the court, he can be a coach. If [he does get hired]We are delighted to have him.”