The Bucks sensationally fired first-year head coach Adrian Griffin on Tuesday after just 43 games and with one of the best records in the league. Why?
Some of the veterans at Milwaukee, most importantly Giannis Antetokounmpo, had reportedly lost faith in Griffin after previously endorsing him for the role, according to Sports Illustrated Chris Mannix.
“There have been steady rumblings for weeks in NBA circles that several Bucks veterans, including Giannis, had lost faith in Griffin,” Mannix wrote. “What appeared to be smart hire last spring just never worked out.”
Other NBA insiders shared similar sentiments.
“According to team sources, the issues plaguing Griffin’s early tenure ranged from putting together strong schemes on both ends of the floor for the Bucks to fulfill their championship potential to successfully communicating his vision to his players for them to execute it on the floor,” The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Shams Charania and Eric Nehm said. “But the bottom line, given the high stakes of this Bucks era, the concern over Griffin’s ability became a question too big for the Bucks’ executive leadership to withstand any longer.”
In the same report, it also detailed how Damian Lillard “spent much of this season struggling with the way the Bucks function on the offensive end.”
Despite having a 30-13 record and entering Tuesday’s games as number two in the West, the Bucks defense certainly hasn’t been up to scratch.
The 2021 champions were ranked fourth in defense last season, compared to 22nd this season.
Who will replace Griffin? Well ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski is tipping it to be former 76ers coach Doc Rivers.
“The Bucks are planning to quickly pursue a small pool of accomplished and available veteran head coaches — with Doc Rivers as a top target. …The sides have yet to talk but the Bucks are expected to reach out and gauge Rivers’ interest soon, sources said.”
Veteran assistant Joe Prunty will take over as interim coach.