The Bucks are set to hire Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin as their next head coach and superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo played a major role in the hiring.
The franchise was down to three candidates – Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, former Raptors coach Nick Nurse and Adrian Griffin – who has been the assistant at Toronto for the last five seasons.
“While all three candidates interviewed for the position with Horst, another factor became incredibly noteworthy late in the process: the finalists were also given the chance to meet individually with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo at his River Hills, Wis. home on Tuesday, sources briefed on the matter said,” The Athletic reports.
“After that, each candidate met with a Bucks ownership contingent on Wednesday. On Thursday night, Horst held a dinner to discuss the team’s decision regarding the head coach opening that included ownership. Both Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were invited to attend, a league source said.
“Antetokounmpo endorsed the hiring of Griffin, sources added.”
Other sources from around the league shared the same information – that being six-time All-Star Giannis gave Griffin his approval that ultimately sealed the deal.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 27, 2023
48-year-old Griffin has been an assistant coach for five different teams (Bucks, Bulls, Magic, Thunder and Raptors) in the past 15 NBA seasons but has never been at the helm.
Fittingly, he actually started his coaching career at the Bucks under Scott Skiles in 2008.
Milwaukee will look to rebuild some pride after getting eliminated by the eighth-seeded Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
Granted, Giannis wasn’t fully healthy during that time but no doubt the Greek Freak and his teammates will be out for vengeance this upcoming season.