When you think of the best coaches in the modern era there are a number of names that spring to mind but not many are associated with the Atlanta Hawks. Gregg Popovich has been a master for a quarter of a century. Then you have Phill Jackson during his time with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angles Lakers.
Then you have the up-and-coming coaches like Steve Kerr who has prowled the sidelines of the Golden State Warriors’ period of dominance and Eric Spoelstra who seems to have the Miami Heat playing their best whether he is starting Bam Adebayo or Dewayne Dedmon.
The rest of the list is Geroge Karl, Tyrone Lue, Mike D’Antoni, Doc Rivers, Rick Carlisle, and finally Mike Budenholzer who coached the Hawks. He was actually rated seventh on the list, with only Karl, Lue, and D’Antoni rated worse than the ex-Hawks bench boss by Bleacher Report scribe Zach Buckley.
The Atlanta Hawks had one of the best coaches of the modern era during their best phase.
After spending an astounding seven years as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, the Atlanta Hawks signed Budenholzer at the start of the 2013-14 season. They finished the season with a 38-44 record but the bones were there for what was about to be unleashed on the NBA.
In just his second season as an NBA head coach, Budenholzer guided the Hawks to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for the franchise, they were swept in the Conference Finals but it was still an impressive effort.
Unfortunately for Budenholzer and the Hawks, they were not able to replicate this success the following seasons. While they had positive win/loss records, the Hawks were not able to crack fifty wins. Then the rebuild started, which was when the coach and team decided to part ways.
Budenholzer then went on to take over the talented Milwaukee Bucks team where he guided them to a championship two seasons ago. Hopefully, the Hawks have made the right call with Nate McMillan and he can take them even deeper in the playoffs and potentially to a championship.