FILE -Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin takes charge of the team against the Detroit Pistons in NBA basketball game action in Toronto, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. The Milwaukee Bucks are finalizing a deal to make Adrian Griffin their head coach after he spent the last five seasons as a Toronto Raptors assistant, a person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Photo: AP
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said it had confirmed the report that first appeared on ESPN and The Athletic.
The hiring, after the Bucks sacked Mike Budenholzer on May 4, will bring the 48-year-old Griffin back to the team where he began his NBA coaching career as an assistant under head coach Scott Skiles in 2008.
Griffin had arrived in Milwaukee as a player as part of a three-team trade in August of 2008 but didn't play again, and Skiles kept him as an assistant.
Griffin had played for five teams in nine seasons, appearing for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals in 2006 when they fell to the Miami Heat.
He has spent the past five seasons in Toronto and was with the Raptors when they won the title in 2019.
He had served as an assistant to head coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago from 2010-2015.
Griffin worked for another season under Skiles in Orlando before stints with Oklahoma City and Toronto.
Although he has landed his first head-coaching job, the Journal Sentinel reported that multiple teams have previously considered Griffin for the top job.
The Bucks finished the regular season with the league's best record of 58-24, but the Eastern Conference top seeds were eliminated in five games by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
Budenholzer, a two-time Coach of the Year who had guided the Bucks to their first NBA title in 50 years just two years earlier, was fired.
ESPN reported that each of the three short-listed candidates for the job -- Griffin, Golden state Warriors associate head coach Kenny Atkinson and former Raptors coach Nick Nurse -- met with Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as part of the hiring process.
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