This time, Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to get a table.
This followed NBA etiquette: If you have a star player the caliber of Antetokounmpo, you include him in the process of hiring a new coach. That doesn’t mean the player drives the bus, but he gets input, he gets updates, and he gets to sit down with the man before the announcement is made.
Thursday, before the hiring of Mike Budenholzer as the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks became official, Antetokounmpo and Budenholzer sat down over breakfast, with Kris Middleton, and talked. It was a good breakfast, Antetokounmpo told Matt Velazquez at the Journal-Sentinel.
“How do I explain — it was not like an interview, it was not like an introduction,” Antetokounmpo told the Journal Sentinel on Thursday at the combine where his younger brother, Kostas, is among the participants. “I was aware that me and Khris were going to talk to him, but I wasn’t aware what decision we made. I just talked to him. …
“We had a private place, a private little area that we went to, me and Khris and Bud. By the way, the food was great there…
“It’s exciting,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’d like to get the chance to talk to him again before I start working out. I would love to work out in his plan. I want to see our plays, I want to see the game plan, I want to make myself better through his game. Yeah, I think it’s going to be exciting. I can’t wait to play for him. Hopefully we can win some games.”
You’ve got to love that Antetokounmpo had to get a quick restaurant review in there.
I’m sure Budenholzer has a plan for Antetokounmpo. Coach Bud is a tactician of the highest order and a detail-oriented guy, he would have gone into this interview process with a plan already in place how to get more out of one of the more talented and athletic rosters in the Eastern Conference, one that has seemed misused for years. His new coach is going to push Antetokounmpo, but it’s needed.
The Bucks are poised to take a big step forward next season, and they made the right hire to do it.