Tuesday afternoon, while everyone was either lauding the San Antonio Spurs (after their series sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies) or perpetuating the hype machine behind the Miami Heat (preceding their Game 4 contest against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse), the Atlanta Hawks and general manager Danny Ferry made a move to improve the future of their franchise.
The Hawks hired a new head coach.
Atlanta GM Ferry had this to say in the team’s press release this afternoon:
We are thrilled to have Mike as the next coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He has an incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful. His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team.”
Budenholzer, who is only 43 years old, has been an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs for the past 17 seasons—including the past six years as the top assistant under head coach Gregg Popovich. He got his start as the team’s video coordinator before being elevated to an assistant coach.
In the Hawk’s statement, he made the following remarks.
I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the San Antonio Spurs organization for the last 19 years. I knew it would have to be a tremendous situation for me to leave and clearly coming to Atlanta as the head coach of the Hawks is perfect for me.
Even though he will remain with the Spurs until they complete the 2013 NBA Finals, Coach Popovich has already expressed his regret in seeing Budenholzer go.
I couldn’t be happier for Mike for many reasons. As anyone who’s been part of this program knows, he has been more of a co-head coach than an assistant for a long time. His knowledge of the game as well as his ability to teach and develop relationships with players are all special.
“I will miss him a great deal both professionally and personally and am confident that he and Danny will make a great team as the future unfolds.”
Between the salary cap freeing moves that shook up the Atlanta roster preceding the 2012-13 NBA season and the recent hiring of Budenholzer, Hawks fans should only feel hopeful when reflecting on the possible future of their franchise.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer will be officially announced by the team Wednesday.
All that is left is to see what moves Ferry and Budenholzer make this offseason to fill out the Hawks roster.
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