NBA champion Bucks sign Budenholzer to contract extension

National Sports

FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2021, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer reacts to a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in Milwaukee. Budenholzer has received a contract extension after guiding the team to its first NBA title in a half century. The Bucks announced Tuesday night, Aug. 24, they had signed Budenholzer to an extension. Details weren’t disclosed. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has received a contract extension after guiding the team to its first NBA title in a half-century.

The Bucks announced Tuesday night they had signed Budenholzer to an extension. Details weren’t disclosed.

“What an incredible journey we’ve been on and winning the NBA championship this season makes us appreciate how difficult it is to win and how grateful we are to have the best players and coaches in place to get the job done,” Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said in a statement. “Mike’s strong leadership, coaching expertise, commitment to player development, and adaptability have been instrumental as we work together to compete for and win championships.”

The Bucks won their first championship since 1971 by beating the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in the NBA Finals.

Milwaukee erased 2-0 deficits against the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals and against Phoenix in the league finals. The Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals after losing the opening game in that series.

The Bucks have posted an NBA-best 162-65 regular-season record since Budenholzer took over in 2018. Budenholzer was named the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season.

Milwaukee posted the league’s top regular-season mark in 2018-19 and 2019-20. The Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals and fell to the Miami Heat in the 2020 Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Bucks have led the NBA in scoring each of the last three seasons.

“Bud is a great coach and a fantastic partner to work with every day as we build a team that consistently competes for championships,” general manager Jon Horst said in a statement. “We’re extremely grateful for the leadership Bud provides and we look forward to building on the success we’ve had over the last three years and congratulate Bud on this well-deserved extension.”

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