Top Stories (archive1)

Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks decide to part ways

The Atlanta Hawks will be in the market for a new head coach as Mike Budenholzer and the franchise mutually agree to part ways the Atlanta Hawks said in a release:

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and Mike Budenholzer have mutually agreed to part ways, it was announced today.

Budenholzer was named Hawks head coach on May 28, 2013. In his five seasons with Atlanta, he compiled a record of 213-197 (.520) during the regular season and 17-22 (.436) during the postseason.

Over the past month, the Hawks coach received permission to interview for the Phoenix Suns. He eventually withdrew from consideration. This week it was reported he and the New York Knicks met about their opening.

The Hawks made the playoffs in each of Budenholzer’s first four seasons, including a franchise-record 60 victories in 2014-15 as he earned Coach of the Year honors. That season also marked the first time Atlanta advanced to the conference finals since 1970. The Hawks bottomed out this season, however, finishing last in the Eastern Conference at 24-58.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks will evaluate several current NBA assistant coaches for their vacancy:

“I am grateful for the five years that I spent as coach of the Atlanta Hawks and will always cherish the incredible contributions, commitment and accomplishments of the players that I was fortunate enough to work with here,” Budenholzer told ESPN on Wednesday night. “From ownership to management, support staff to the community, I’ll look back with great pride on what we were able to achieve together with the Hawks.”

Candidates the Hawks are expected to consider to replace Budenholzer include Charlotte Hornets assistant Stephen Silas, Portland Trail Blazers assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool, and San Antonio Spurs assistants Ime Udoka and James Borrego.

USA Today‘s Sam Amick also reported that the Hawks are expected to talk to former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale:

The Hawks are expected to talk to former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, among others, a person with knowledge of Atlanta’s plans told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke under the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

When Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk was assistant GM with Golden State, Portland’s Tibbetts interviewed to be Steve Kerr’s top assistant before Mike Brown was hired.

As reported by ESPN, Charlotte Hornets assistant Stephen Silas is a natural candidate. He’s widely respected throughout the league and was with Golden State at the same time as Schlenk.