Just one week after being told his contract with the Hawks would not be renewed, it is with bittersweet sentiment to learn that Larry Drew’s interview with the Milwaukee Bucks this past Monday “went well.”
It is bittersweet for the reason that Drew’s termination was not unanimously embraced amongst the Hawks faithful, yet no fan can deny that it is nice to see a former Hawk move on with his career in a positive direction.
As the story goes, Danny Ferry held a personal meeting this past week to kindly tell Drew that the Hawks were unlikely to extend his contract, set to expire June 30, granting him full freedom to pursue other coaching opportunities. Ferry has apparently left open the possibility that Drew would return as Hawks head coach after the team’s search process concludes.
“We had a very professional talk,” said Drew, who conceded that the meeting was mostly in efforts to “get things in order to pursue other opportunities since I’m still under contract” (ESPN).
These “other opportunities,” that the coach refers to, as we have come to learn, are mainly referring to Drew’s potential employment with the Milwaukee Bucks, who recently parted ways with interim head coach Jim Boylan. After meeting with the team on Monday regarding their head coaching vacancy, Drew let the Atlanta-Journal Constitution know that he was very pleased with the meeting.
Perhaps this would be an ideal fit for Drew, who may fair better dealing with less intense pressure from the Milwaukee fan base. Drew’s fit with the Bucks is certainly conceivable, especially considering the relative success he garnered with the Hawks as coach.
Drew has been deeply entrenched within the Hawks organization for the better part of the past decade, serving as the team’s lead assistant coach between 2004-2010 before being supplanted as head coach- a position he retained up until a few weeks ago. In 230 regular season games as head coach, Drew proved his worth by accumulating a 128-102 record, winning just under 56% of his games. However, he failed to meet fans’ lofty playoff expectations during his tenure, making it out of the first round only once despite having some pretty loaded lineups. No one can claim that his run as head coach of the Hawks was a failure, yet many felt that his teams left a lot on the court and were easily handled in the postseason after promising regular season runs. Thus, we are left with the feeling that his termination may have been warranted in many regards, but his future is unquestionably bright. Many teams seem to agree, as the 55-year old has already drawn interest from other teams with head coaching vacancies.
Though rumors have been suppressed for the most part, we can assume the interest is from some combination of the Pistons, Nets, Bobcats and 76ers, the only teams seeking head coaches this off-season.
Speaking on behalf of all Hawks fans: we wish you the best of luck, LD.