The Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to fire Mike Budenholzer, their championship-winning coach, has been widely debated in the NBA world. In a recent episode of ‘The Herd,’ sports media personality Colin Cowherd attributed the decision to two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s high expectations.
Cowherd argued that having a transcendent, generational superstar like Antetokounmpo comes with a downside. The Greek Freak’s greatness raises the bar for the team, and losing in the playoffs as the favorite and getting outcoached is unacceptable.
"The reason Budenholzer was fired is because of Giannis… The better the stars, the higher the expectations."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) May 5, 2023
Cowherd also pointed out that the pressure to succeed with a superstar player like Antetokounmpo can create a precarious situation for coaches, making it the worst great job in America.
Antetokounmpo’s urgency to guard Jimmy Butler in the playoffs, despite being discouraged by Budenholzer, further supports Cowherd’s argument. The Greek Freak’s incredible talent puts him in a position of power, and coaches have little room for failure when the stakes are high.
The firing of Budenholzer also highlights the trend of championship-winning coaches being dismissed by their respective franchises. With Budenholzer’s departure, three of the last four championship-winning coaches have been fired, including Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers and Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors.
As the Bucks search for a new coach, it remains to be seen if they will also look to revamp their roster to support Antetokounmpo with more lethal players. However, one thing is certain – the high expectations that come with having a generational superstar can make or break a team and its coach.
“The Business We’re In”: NBA Coaches’ Job Security in Question as Championship Winners Get Fired
The firing of Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer came as a shock to many NBA fans, including Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who expressed disappointment at the news. Kerr acknowledged that Budenholzer was a fantastic coach who had been wildly successful in his career, but also noted that the high expectations of NBA teams often lead to quick firings.
Kerr pointed out that three of the last four championship-winning coaches had been fired, leaving him as the only one to have kept his job after winning a championship. While it’s unclear what led to Budenholzer’s firing, the Bucks’ unexpected loss to the Miami Heat in the playoffs may have played a role.
However, Kerr also acknowledged that coaches are always vulnerable in the NBA and that the firing was a reminder of the tough business they’re in.
The trend of championship-winning coaches getting fired raises questions about the job security of NBA coaches, especially those with high expectations placed on them. While winning a championship is the ultimate goal for every team, it’s also become a requirement for coaches to keep their jobs. The pressure to win is higher than ever, and the firing of Budenholzer is a clear example of how quickly things can change in the NBA.