Milwaukee — When General Manager Jon Hurst was asked to look back on the three-week process and lay out something that led to Adrian Griffin becoming the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, General Manager Jon Horst kept talking. Principal Newton told him during this time. time.
“Adrian is a professional coach,” Horst recalls telling Newton. “He hasn’t had a chance yet.”
With his introductory press conference over, after 15 seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA, Griffin officially had his chance. Now the Bucks will have to see where Griffin takes them.
Mardi, Hurst and Griffin ont aid à brosser un tableau plus complete du processus qui a conduit Griffin, 48 ans, à être embauché en tant qu’entreur-chef de la franchise 17. Pour Hurst, l’attreissage de Griffin n’était pas accident.
“With extensive experience and benchmarking work – we carried out advanced analyzes on education profiles and employee profiles,” Horst said. “We really spent a lot of time on the interview process. We targeted about 20 people to start, did about 15 interviews in the first round, narrowed it down to a group of about six people in the second round of interviews, and finally put together a group of finalists. As for Finalists who come together with our ownership, the business side of the Bucks, our performance group, our players and ultimately our ownership.
“We have all called Adrian Griffin a recommended candidate for the position. His personality, commanding presence, diverse experiences working with great coaches over the past 15 years in the NBA, and nearly a decade of experience playing with great players, playing for great coaches It was clear to us that Adrian was the perfect recruit.”
Throughout the press conference, Hearst not only regularly mentioned the coaching careers of Griffin’s five teams and four coaches—Scott Skills, Tom Thibodeau, Billy Donovan, and Nick Nurse—but also the coaches Griffin has played with. During his nine-year career in the NBA, including skills. Don Nelson and Jeff Van Gundy. In Horst’s opinion, these college experiences coaching and playing helped prepare Griffin to become a head coach.
While the Bucks’ extensive interview process allowed them to weed out potential candidates and shorten their roster of finalists, it wasn’t just about eliminating other coaches. Horst believes Griffin excelled in the process.
“He was impressed every step of the way, starting with our reference work and our expertise,” Horst said. “You literally talk to the pioneers in the arenas, you talk to your ex-teammates, you talk to the ex-coaches you’ve trained with, and everyone was emphasizing the person Adrian is, Adrian’s work ethic, his good relationships with the players and the staff.
Then we met him and he stunned us during the interview. Then we bring it back for a second encounter, we chat with chalk and climb up to the blackboard and watch the movie, and it just blows us away again. Then he meets our people: the front desk staff, the medical staff, and the people on the business side. Property. And he beats them again. And then he’s in for the big moment. You are the man who has to go for the final interview with the owners. Like, don’t mess with that, right? And start over. There’s probably a lot more detail than that, but on a high level he admired every step of the A’s on a personal level and in the environment around him.
Going into the process, Hearst admitted there may have been an internal bias toward someone who had already done the job and had prior NBA coaching experience, but Griffin won anyway.
“Maybe there was an internal bias that made me think they might have had some head coaching experience in the peloton, but in no way did I let that bias prevail over our process,” Horst said. And what has become clear to me and clear throughout the process, and I think something we’ve learned — and we’ll see how that plays out — is that head coaching experience is one level of experience, but the NBA experience is another amazing experience that values it. The level, and there’s really no point in it. That we spent more time with him than Adrian Griffin has to be a head coach in the NBA.
And I go back to what Milt kept saying, ‘He’s a head coach; he didn’t have the opportunity.’ to do so.”
Tuesday’s press conference provided Hearst with an opportunity to explain what had happened over the past month during the Dollars search, but it also served as Griffin’s first chance to explain his position in the game. After five seasons under a successful coach and an NBA championship in 2021, Griffin knows the standard has been set in Milwaukee.
“One of the things we talked about in our first interview was really laying the groundwork,” Griffin said. It’s a strong culture. We have a special talent on this team, so it’s not something I’ve come to tear everything apart. In fact, it was just a build. I believe that with my 25 years of experience in the NBA, I can add great value to the team and bring my experience as a player and coach.
So to answer your question, it’s quite an opportunity, right? You bring a special talent to this team. And yes, we have high expectations, but we’ll embrace them. On the way to the minor leagues, he taught me the value of hard work. This is what we will count on from day one.
While Griffin respected what the Bucks had done over the past five seasons under Mike Budenholzer, he also made it clear that he knew why he was given the chance and defined his brand of basketball, which has notable differences compared to the basketball played under Budenholzer.
For Griffin, a defensive-minded coach who has focused most of his time defending the Raptors under the guidance of a nurse in Toronto, his vision of the future begins with aggressive defense.
“I’ve been under a lot of great coaches, and you kind of take the good stuff and do it yourself, so I’m lucky to have a great group to draw from,” Griffin said. But defense wins, of course. We’ll be a proactive defense, right? We will chase it, press the ball and direct our defense to attack. We will not allow crime to insult us. We’ll hit the ball, right? We’ll have a lap, and we’ll get out and run. We will also make adjustments throughout the match with our defense and change defense. »
Under Budenholzer, the Bucks were an elite defense, but they were more interested in forcing opponents to shots that made them uncomfortable than trying to create turnovers. That doesn’t seem to be the case under Griffin, especially given his track record with the Raptors defense, with each of his last three seasons ending with the highest defensive turnover percentage in the NBA.
Griffin also provided insight into what he would like the Bucks to do offensively, which has often been problematic for them in the playoffs under Budenholzer.
“I think offensively,” Griffin said, “we want to take advantage of this team’s special talent to create a high shooting percentage.” It also means that teams pay to put two or three bodies on the ball. I think this will work in our favour, too. So we’ll move the ball, move the ball a little bit more, move the body, get that higher percentage of shots in the paint, and then it’ll triple there.
“We’re not going to put any restrictions on the 3 we take, but it’s going to be a team of 3, they’re going to be on a 3-win situation. Hence I’m a big fan of offensive boards.
Griffin’s tactics and strategies will reveal themselves as the plays begin—first in the summer league, then in the preseason, and then finally when the regular season games begin in late October. But on Tuesday, Griffin was grateful for the opportunity he had waited for more than a decade and a half.
“It’s something I’ve been preparing for my entire career,” Griffin said. “My sister-in-law, she always says prep time is never wasted. 15 years of coaching, nine years of playing in the NBA, playing with a lot of great players. I’ve been coached by several Hall of Famers. I’ve just listed coaches who I supervised them.
Everything happens for a reason. My faith is very strong. My father was a servant, and he always told me to be grateful for all the little things, and God rewards you abundantly. I feel like it really came alive for me on my journey, and again, I just believe in preparations, “You have to sit on this seat. And I have great mentors – many names. But I greatly appreciate the path you took. Everyone’s path is different, but waiting 15 years to get this job was worth it. »
(Photo by John Hirst and Adrian Griffin: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)