Mike Budenholzer, hired by the Hawks three months ago, has just made a terrible early impression in Atlanta.
A trooper stopped Budenholzer for having no tail lights, according to the State Patrol. The trooper detected an odor of alcohol, administered a field sobriety test, then placed Budenholzer under arrest.
Budenholzer refused a breath test, a State Patrol spokesman said.
A spokesman for the Atlanta City Jail told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Budenholzer, 44, was charged with DUI and a tail light violation, and was released on $1,524 bond at 3:45 a.m. Thursday.
It’s expected Nets coach Jason Kidd will be suspended two games for his DWI, and Budenholzer will likely receive the same punishment. As he should. There’s no excuse for Budenholzer to endanger others on the road.
Budenholzer came to the Hawks after being an assistant in San Antonio, where Spurs general manager R.C. Buford was arrested for DUI in 2011. I’m not one to rush to assign blame to an organization – Budenholzer’s issues are his issues, and Buford’s issues are his issues – but if you’re the type to judge athletes for being collectively out of control after a couple legal incidents, it’s only fair to examine the Spurs organization and question whether its culture tolerates drinking and driving.
Unfortunately, how this incident fits the narrative of Budenholzer’s tenure with the Hawks will probably be retroactively determined. If he wins, he overcame early personal challenges. If he loses, he just never had it together.