Longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer has been hired as the new head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. There is no question the Hawks made the right decision in hiring Budenholzer, despite the fact that former Atlanta head coach Larry Drew had a lot of success the past three seasons.
Drew posted a 128-102 record and led the Hawks to three straight postseason appearances. However, the organization decided to go in a new direction after the team lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs the last two seasons. Not to mention, Drew was never general manager Danny Ferry’s choice to be the head coach.
Ferry spent a couple of years as the vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs prior to accepting the job as the president of basketball operations and GM with the Hawks in 2012. Obviously, he has plenty of experience with Budenholzer and knows what San Antonio’s top assistant is capable of accomplishing.
“He has an incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful,” Ferry said Tuesday in a statement released by the team, according to Hawks.com. “His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team.”
The good news is Atlanta is getting a top-notch coach to lead the team over the next several years. On top of that, it will not take long for the players to respect Budenholzer considering how much he has accomplished in San Antonio. To believe that he had no part in getting the Spurs to play at a high level for more than a decade is simply ignorant.
Budenholzer will miss his time in San Antonio, but is thrilled with his new opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA.
“I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the San Antonio Spurs organization for the last 19 years,” Budenholzer said in a statement, according to Hawks.com. “I knew it would have to be a tremendous situation for me to leave and clearly coming to Atlanta as the head coach of the Hawks is perfect for me.
“Ownership’s commitment to taking this organization to the next level and creating a unique and special culture, partnering with a general manager like Danny Ferry who I have great respect for, and building a roster that has terrific potential because of the existing core and the ensuing flexibility presents a rare and uniquely positive opportunity.”
Budenholzer will remain with the Spurs through the NBA Finals before joining the Hawks.