NBA Rumors: Bucks' 1st-Round Flameout Could Cost One Team Member His Job

The Milwaukee Bucks came into the 2023 NBA playoffs as the favorites to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Instead, they're going home as only the sixth No. 1 seed ever to lose a first-round series. And it wasn't even close. 

Now, the inevitable buzz has started that the shocking collapse could cost head coach Mike Budenholzer his job. ESPN's Zach Lowe said on his podcast today that he thinks the Bucks simply can't bring Coach Bud back after this. 

There’s some losses for which there’s just no going back.

League insiders, you don’t really have to be an insider, but league insiders are extremely skeptical that Mike Budenholzer can return as head coach of the Bucks after this.... I just don’t see any coming back from it. It’s just logic.

I think the league insiders are going to be right. I just don’t see any other way.

Even the Miami Heat were stunned about one late-game decision that Budenholzer made — or failed to make — when he didn't call a time-out for a final last-second possession in regulation with the game tied. 

Heat guard Max Strus said today, "Honestly, we were all questioning it...(Head coach Erik Spoelstra) came into the huddle and he was like 'they didn't call a timeout, what are they doing?'" 

The Heat knocked out the Bucks in five games, and coaching was largely the reason.

It was only two years ago that Budenholzer (along with some guy named Giannis) led the Bucks to the NBA championship. But being a recent NBA champ is any real protection for coaches these days—just ask Nick Nurse or Frank Vogel.

 Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports