Adrian Griffin Feb 12, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors acting head coach Adrian Griffin applaudes his players in the first half against the Detroit Pistons at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s top team during the regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks, are closing in on a new head coach, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting the team plans to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin.

A former NBA journeyman who played for five teams over a nine-year playing career, Griffin has been an assistant in the league since 2008, including stints with Milwaukee (2008-10), Chicago (2010-15), Orlando (2015-16), Oklahoma City (2016-18) and Toronto (2018-23). This is Griffin’s first head-coaching job.

Griffin replaces Mike Budenholzer, who led the Bucks to a title in 2021 but underachieved with this year’s squad, bowing out to the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in a gentleman’s sweep, a loss many characterized as one of the greatest upsets in league history.

Along with Griffin, the Bucks also conducted interviews with Frank Vogel, Will Weaver, Kelvin Sampson, Kenny Atkinson, Scott Brooks, Joseph Blair and current ESPN analyst Mark Jackson. Longtime assistant Charles Lee had been considered the leading in-house candidate. Monty Williams, who was fired by Phoenix earlier this month, was high on Milwaukee’s wish list, though most indications are that he plans on taking next season off.

Griffin, whose son, AJ, was a rookie for the Atlanta Hawks this past season, also interviewed for coaching vacancies in Toronto and Houston and was a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers’ job during last year’s hiring cycle. Despite being well-respected in coaching circles, Griffin’s career has not been without controversy, facing abuse allegations from his ex-wife in 2020.

With the Bucks wrapping up their coaching search, four jobs remain with openings still available in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Toronto and Detroit.

[Shams Charania, Adrian Wojnarowski]

About Jesse Pantuosco

Jesse Pantuosco joined Awful Announcing as a contributing writer in May 2023. He’s also written for Audacy and NBC Sports. A graduate of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a master’s degree in creative writing from Fairfield University, Pantuosco has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and never misses a Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots game.