Scott Skiles is out as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, according to a report from Sam Amick of USA Today.
The decision was mutual between the team and its coach, who had guided the Bucks to a record of 16-16, good enough for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
It’s more than possible that a report published Monday from David Aldridge of NBA.com helped accelerate the conversation that led to this parting of ways.
Multiple league sources say that Skiles, who is in the final year of the five-year contract he signed in 2008, has informed the Bucks that he does not want a contract extension, and is resigned to the fact that he will be elsewhere next season.
The Bucks, sources say, have told Skiles to keep an open mind, and in case he has a change of heart, they would be willing to talk about another deal. Usually, teams that really want someone back — a player, a coach, whomever — figure out a way to make it happen. But the Bucks have done nothing substantive toward offering Skiles a new deal. Both sides appear willing to play out the season, and there is no animosity either way, sources said; Skiles is fond of owner Herb Kohl, and vice versa.
Apparently, with this information out there publicly, either the team or Skiles (or both) felt that it was best to make a clean break mid-season.
Assistant coach Jim Boylan gets the interim tag in Milwaukee for now, and there’s no reason to believe that a Bucks team with virtually no expectations this season would bother to hire someone from outside the organization to replace Skiles for a little more than half of the season that remains.
Skiles had coached in Milwaukee since the 2008-09 season, and left with a record of 162-182 over that span, which included a trip to the postseason.