Bucks make it official: Budenholzer hired as head coach

It’s official: The Milwaukee Bucks have hired former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

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ESPN first reported on the move Wednesday night, before the Bucks confirmed Budenholzer’s hiring in a press release Thursday afternoon.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Bucks ownership group and Jon Horst to be named the next head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks,” Budenholzer said in a statement. “There are terrific people throughout the organization and together we have a tremendous opportunity to take the Bucks to the next level.”

Budenholzer went 213-197 in five seasons with Atlanta. The Bucks also reportedly interviewed David Blatt, Steve Clifford, Becky Hammon and Monty Williams. Ettore Messina, a San Antonio Spurs assistant, reportedly was the other candidate who met with Milwaukee’s owners.

“Mike has played a key role in building successful teams throughout his career,” Bucks GM Jon Horst said in a statement. “He’s widely respected and has shown a special ability to teach and develop players. His leadership, basketball intellect, championship-level experience and communication skills make him the right fit to take our team to the next level.”