The Dallas Mavericks decided to stay out of the coaching market this offseason, despite having a disappointing season. Head coach Jason Kidd will return for his third season, but the franchise did decide to shake up the bench. Assistant coach Greg St. Jean is out, and the Mavs are hoping to find a veteran assistant with head coaching experience to take over. Frank Vogel is rumored to be the favorite if he decides to take on a role as an assistant.
Five teams decided to make head coaching changes this summer, including the Suns, 76ers, and Bucks despite reaching the playoffs. Vogel is not the only championship head coach on the market. Nick Nurse, Mike Budenholzer, and Doc Rivers have all won rings, and that makes zero mention of Monty Williams, who helped turnaround the Suns from a laughing stock to a perennial contender.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Bucks decided to fill their vacancy on May 27 with former Maverick Adrian Griffin. It came as a bit of a surprise with so many proven head coaches on the market, Milwaukee went with a first-timer. Here is a look at Griffin’s resume, his time with the Mavs, and what to expect in Milwaukee.
Former Dallas Mavericks guard Adrian Griffin hired to be head coach of Milwaukee Bucks
Griffin steps into a win-now job. The Bucks fired Budenholzer after having the best regular season record in the NBA and crashing out in the first round of the playoffs. Milwaukee won the championship in 2021. The mandate is clear. It is championship or bust for the Bucks and the new head coach will have to win titles to keep his job.
Griffin played nine years in the NBA, including two stints in Dallas. The Mavericks signed him as a free agent in 2001, and he was a role player for two years, including helping them reach the conference finals in 2003. Griffin left for Houston that summer before returning in 2005 for one more year in Dallas. He helped the Mavericks reach the NBA Finals in 2006 by averaging 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game during the postseason.
Griffin has been an assistant coach in the NBA since retiring in 2008, including spending the last five years in Toronto. He helped the Raptors win a title in 2019 and worked closely with head coach Nick Nurse. Shams Charania reported that Nurse pulled out of consideration for the Bucks job just before the team agreed to hire Griffin.
Griffin’s son AJ currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks, and the new Bucks head coach has been part of the NBA every year since 1999 as a player or a coach. It may be his first time as a head coach, but Adrian Griffin brings plenty of experience to Milwaukee, and he is now tasked with getting the most out of Giannis and the Bucks.
Hopefully, his tenure goes better than current Dallas Mavericks’ head coach Jason Kidd’s did in Milwaukee. Adrian Griffin will not last long if the Bucks are not winning titles, so it is something to watch moving forward.