Coach Endorsed by Giannis Suddenly Looking for NBA Job

Giannis Antetokounmpo's favorite head coach is ready for his NBA gig.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks were arguably the most disappointing team in the NBA in the 2023-24 season. Despite trading for Damian Lillard and moving on from Mike Budenholzer, the Bucks never quite hit their stride and ended up flaming out in the first round of the playoffs.

This naturally put Doc Rivers on the hot seat. The veteran head coach, who was hired mid-season once the Adrian Griffin experiment went haywire, had a 17-19 record to close out the season.

The Bucks will surely start the 2024-25 season with Rivers as the coach but there will be one name who will be waiting for Milwaukee's call as a potential Doc replacement. Ergin Ataman, the Turkish head coach who Giannis called "the best basketball coach in the world" a few weeks ago, is reportedly ready for his first NBA gig.

Ataman said that the NBA has been bringing star players from Europe for a while and that it's time that they considered a "star coach" like himself. The 58-year-old has won three EuroLeague championships in the last four years and is widely considered the best coach in Europe.

Hiring a first-time head coach with no NBA experience certainly has its risks. The NBA has a very different culture than European basketball. It is a very player-centric league where superstars hold a ton of power. EuroLeague is a lot more centered on systems and discipline. How a coach like Ataman would fit in the NBA is a fascinating question.

An endorsement from Giannis Antetokounmpo certainly goes a long way, especially for the Milwaukee Bucks organization. Whether they will seriously consider his favorite head coach remains to be seen but hopefully things don't go off the rails enough that the Bucks must consider another mid-season coaching change.

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