Giannis Reportedly Had 'Major' Role in Recent Bucks' Coaching Hire

Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly wanted his preferred assistant coach back this offseason.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Milwaukee Bucks moved on from Mike Budenholzer in the 2023 offseason, there has been endless drama about the coaching staff. First, they hired Adrian Griffin but that lasted six months before they fired him. Then they shocked the NBA world by bringing in Doc Rivers despite the veteran coach's many postseason struggles. Rivers wasn't the answer they were looking for as the Bucks finished the season 17-19 under Rivers and flamed out in the first round.

Now the pressure is on this team and the coaching staff to take a significant step forward next season. With that objective in mind, the Bucks made the surprising move of hiring Darvin Ham as the lead assistant to Rivers. It turns out, one Giannis Antetokounmpo had a major role in that hire. According to veteran reporter Gery Woelfel, the two-time MVP "had major input" in the decision to bring Ham.

Bucks News: Giannis Antetokounmpo Wanted Darvin Ham

This is not surprising. Teams consult with their star player on coaching and personnel decisions all the time. Plus, Ham is a familiar face in Milwaukee. He was an assistant coach under Budenholzer for four seasons in Milwaukee and helped Giannis win two MVPs and an NBA championship. It is not a surprise that Antetokounmpo would want him back.

This could also potentially signal the lack of trust Giannis has in Doc Rivers but that is difficult to know for certain.

The Milwaukee Bucks are all-in. Their championship window is the next two years. Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez are all past or nearing their mid-30s. They don't have too many young assets or draft capital to significantly improve this roster. Therefore, they have to win that title with this core and coaching staff.

If Giannis doesn't think that Rivers is the right man for the job, we could easily see Darvin Ham eventually taking over. We now know that Antetokounmpo is not going to shy away from making his voice heard when it comes to organizational decisions.

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