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May 11, 2024 12:54 pm

Suns hire Mike Budenholzer as head coach

Mike Budenholzer

The Phoenix Suns named Mike Budenholzer as their next head coach on Saturday morning.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Suns, however The Athletic reported that it was a five-year contract worth over $50 million.

“We’re excited to name Mike as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and bring him back to his home state of Arizona,” Suns owner Mat Ishbia said. “Mike has proven himself to be among the most successful head coaches in the NBA. He is the right leader to take us to the next level and reach our championship goals.”

Budenholzer was hired for the role two days after Phoenix dismissed Frank Vogel. That move came on the heels of the Suns following up a 49-33 season by being unceremoniously swept in the first round by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Budenholzer, 54, is from Holbrook, Ariz. He was fired by Milwaukee in May 2023, just two years removed from leading the Bucks to an NBA title.

“I am honored to be named head coach of the Phoenix Suns, the team I grew up watching,” Budenholzer said. “I would like to thank Mat Ishbia, (CEO) Josh Bartelstein and (general manager) James Jones for the opportunity to lead this team. I’m grateful to have a talented roster of players who are ready to compete and play a style of basketball that will bring out the best in all of them, and bring them together as we compete for championships.”

A two-time NBA Coach of the Year, Budenholzer posted a 271-120 record in five seasons with the Bucks (2018-23) and a 213-197 mark in five campaigns with the Atlanta Hawks (2013-18).

“Mike’s exceptional basketball acumen, championship pedigree and his standing as one of the NBA’s premier coaches will be invaluable as we compete for a championship,” Jones said. “We’re confident that under his leadership our team will reach new levels of success.”

One season into his latest tenure as head coach, Vogel helped Phoenix and a triumvirate of All-Stars — Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and newcomer Bradley Beal — challenge the 50-win mark despite injuries that disrupted the lineup regularly.

Vogel replaced Monty Williams, who was fired at the end of the 2022-23 season following a loss in the conference semifinals and subsequently hired as the Detroit Pistons’ head coach.

Vogel, 50, has 480 career regular-season victories as head coach of the Indiana Pacers (2010-2016), Orlando Magic (2016-2018), Los Angeles Lakers (2019-2022) and Suns. He led the Lakers to the NBA title at the end of the pandemic-interrupted 2019-20 season.

–Field Level Media

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