On Wednesday night around 10:30pm (EST), Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. The arrest began as a routine traffic stop for a tail light issue, but there’s no doubt that this is a major cause for concern for the Hawks and Budenholzer moving forward.
The 41-year old head coach is entering his first season as a head coach at the NBA level after serving as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs since 1996. Budenholzer was a tenured, on-the-rise assistant coach before getting this opportunity with the Hawks. The NBA season is approximately two months from its start and sadly enough, it’s the organization’s newly hired head coach that’s in hot water.
The Hawks are entering an interesting phase this upcoming season, as expectations are uncertain with a new head coach and many changes across their roster. Budenholzer has a decently young core this season and off-season arrest for DUI prior to the start of training camp is certainly not the right message to be sending out.
Budenholzer has undeniably earned his spot and opportunity with the Hawks’ organization after serving 17 years as an NBA assistant. This is certainly not the start that he had been hoping for, but in turn, it’s a lesson that can be learned for not just him, but his players, as well.
Al Horford and Jeff Teague are the leaders of this Atlanta squad moving forward, while the free agent additions of both Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver should help. Budenholzer will have his work cut out for him however, as the Hawks sport a virtual new look for the most part.