Milwaukee Bucks General Manger John Hammond announced on Friday that Larry Bucks had signed up to be the new coach. Drew, who has coached the Atlanta Hawks for the past 3 seasons will now sign a 4 year, $10 million deal with the Bucks. The Bucks had a choice between Drew and Houston Rockets assistant, Kelvin Sampson and elected to go with Drew.
As a player Drew was a formidable force on the court and he averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assist in 714 career games. He played with the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers and the Detroit Pistons, gathering plenty of experience on court. In the 3 seasons he coached the Hawks they advanced to the play offs in all 3 years, including the conference semi finals in 2010-11. The Hawks will sorely miss the man who led them to the top so regularly and the pressure is on new coach, Mike Budenholzer to keep them on track. Budenholzer was the San Antonio Spurs assistant so he has his work cut out for him.
Larry Drew replaces the Bucks interim coach, Jim Boylan who stepped up to the post after Scott Skiles parted ways with the team in January.
The Bucks tried unsuccessfully to get Stan Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan out of retirement, but settled for Drew when they realised they were not going to coerce the big name coaches back to the court. Drew faces rebuilding a team who faced a tumultuous season that included controversy surrounding Skiles’ departure, a mid season trade that saw them lose one of their most promising players and the disintegration of team spirit due to uncertainty and financial instability. He has faced similar challenges in Atlanta and successfully revived a flagging and stagnant franchise, so hopefully he is the right man for the Bucks job.
Drew inherits a Bucks squad that has plenty of potential, but that needs direction. He also has more than $20 million in cap room so he can afford to spend on free agents and transfers of a high calibre. The 55 year old coach has 4 years to turn the team around and his past results show this shouldn’t be a problem.