Milwaukee Bucks introduced their new head coach Adrian Griffin on Tuesday. This will be a massive step up for him as this is his first role as a head coach. Griffin had previously served as an assistant coach for five different teams since 2008. Griffin expressed his gratitude and also acknowledged the franchise for allowing him to become a rookie coach.
He feels it is very unique how a team contending for the title appointed a rookie coach. “Let’s be real,” Griffin said. “What first-time head coach gets to coach the Milwaukee Bucks, with all the special talent on this team? I’m extremely humbled.”
The Milwaukee Bucks may have bowed out of the postseason in the first round but one cannot deny their exceptional record in the regular season. They finished the regular season with the best record of 58-24. The Bucks are led by the two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, so the weight of expectations is something that Griffin will have to deal with in the upcoming season.
“Yes, we have high expectations, but we’re going to embrace them,” Griffin said.
He explained the importance of hard work and felt that being undrafted and going to the minor league taught him that there is no substitute for hard work.
“But it starts by getting to work,” Griffin said. “Never lose sight of the work involved. I think going undrafted and going the minor league route, it taught me the value of hard work. That’s what we’re going to build upon from day one.”
Although he has not been a head coach before this, he brings championship experience with the Toronto Raptors when they won the 2019 NBA title. He reached the pinnacle of coaching as an assistant when the Raptors won the title. Interestingly he started at Bucks as an assistant coach and life has come full circle for him as a head coach for the Bucks.
“It’s funny how life works,” Griffin said. “Everything has come full circle.”
Milwaukee Bucks are the only contender team that went on to hire a rookie coach. While their rivals like the Philadelphia 76ers roped in Nick Nurse and the Phoenix Suns have appointed Frank Vogel. Both are championship-level coaches, so there’s some noise around Griffin joining the Bucks. Many feel that it is a huge risk taken by the franchise. However, Bucks general manager Jon Horst is very confident with Griffin’s appointment.
“Milt Newton (Bucks assistant coach) said throughout this process after we met with Adrian, ‘Adrian’s a head coach. He just hasn’t gotten the opportunity yet,’” Horst opened up.