Two years ago, Mike Budenhozer was on top of the basketball world. As head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Budenholzer led his team to win the 2021 National Basketball Association Championship.

However, the rest of his tenure with the franchise went a bit differently. He was marked more by regular-season successes that were followed by postseason disappointments. Perhaps none of them had more of a bitter sting than this year's turn of events. A postseason for which personal tragedy also hung over Budenholzer. Speculation had long been circling about his job security.

And now those questions seem to have been answered.

Fired by the Bucks on May 4th

The Milwaukee Bucks have opted to relieve Mike Budenholzer of his head coaching duties, ESPN and Yahoo report. It comes after the Bucks were on the losing side of one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.

Milwaukee finished the 2022-23 NBA regular season with the best overall record. As the number one seed, the Bucks would have had homecourt advantage throughout the postseason. Many pundits expected them to make the Finals and quite possibly win.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Bucks were matched up with the Miami Heat. Who'd had to go through the play-in tournament to make it that far? It was generally expected that the Bucks would efficiently dispatch the Heat.

But it didn't work out that way.

Budenholzer's squad only managed to win one game in the best-of-seven series. Bucks megastar player Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play for a significant chunk of the series. But that didn't necessarily seem to matter that much. The only game the Bucks won did not feature him in the lineup. Several of Budenholzer's coaching choices seemed odd to many.

Antetokounmpo would even subtly question them in a post-game press conference.

It was not the first time the Bucks under Budenholzer would be eliminated in an upset fashion by the Heat. The second round of the 2020 postseason loomed large over the 2023 meeting.

Unknown to most at the time, but during the first round, one of Budenholzer's brothers died suddenly.

After this was made public, several people questioned whether Budenholzer's understandable grief impacted his coaching decisions. This question may never be answered for sure. But earlier playoff disappointments had built up enough for the Bucks' front office to choose a different direction.

Was Budenholzer's second NBA team as a head coach

Mike Budenholzer is a native of Holbrook in central Arizona. He would play collegiate basketball and golf at Pomona College in Claremont, California, near Los Angeles. Afterward, he played professional basketball in Scotland and Denmark.

Budenholzer would serve as a longtime assistant coach in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich. As a Spurs assistant, Budenholzer helped the team win four NBA Championships.

He later spent several seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.

In 2015 with the Hawks and in 2019 with the Bucks, Budenholzer was voted as coach of the year, both by the sportswriters and by his coaching colleagues in the NBA.

With Budenholzer's dismissal, three of the last four NBA Championship head coaches have been fired by their respective teams, following Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers and Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors. Vogel and Nurse are considered potential candidates for the Bucks opening. Current Bucks assistant Charles Lee is also considered among the possible contenders.