The Milwaukee Bucks shockingly fired head coach Adrian Griffin on Tuesday afternoon despite the team being 17 games over .500 and in second place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
The decision to part ways with the first-time head coach sent shockwaves around the NBA world, as Milwaukee has been one of the better teams in the league this season. However, the Bucks haven’t looked dominant, specifically on defense, which has led to some believing that the 49-year-old Griffin was on the hot seat.
That being said, it wasn’t the lackadaisical defensive effort that did Griffin in. It was also how the players responded to him.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday that there were “steady rumblings" in NBA circles for weeks that several Bucks veterans, including superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, had lost faith in Griffin.
Bucks News: Antetokounmpo & Co. Had Lost Faith In Adrian Griffin
It’s never a good sign when you lose the faith of the veterans on the squad, let alone the franchise player in your first year. It also doesn’t help when players speak out about the team’s effort and execution, which is also an indictment of the head coach.
The Bucks went from having a top-5 scoring defense in the NBA last season to being ranked an abysmal 22nd in the association. Granted, moving Jrue Holiday to Boston for Damian Lillard hurts your defense, but the head coach should’ve been able to find a quick fix.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Today that the Bucks want an accomplished veteran head coach who is available and mentioned former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers as one of the serious candidates.
Whether it’s Rivers or interim head coach Joe Prunty, they will have a tough challenge ahead of them as the Bucks don’t have much time to get their act together.
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