Sports

Hawks Coach Departs, Team Rebuild Continues

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer signals during the game against the Boston Celtics in Boston earlier this month.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer signals during the game against the Boston Celtics in Boston earlier this month.
Credit Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks Coach Mike Budenholzer is out after five years. During his tenure with the Hawks, he led the team to its best record ever and won coach of the year.

The Hawks said the decision for him to leave was mutual.

Atlanta sports analyst I. J. Rosenberg said it was also not a surprise.

“Most of the time when a team gets a new general manager, they want their own coach in there,” Rosenberg said.

The Hawks’ General Manager Travis Schlenk joined the team this season with plans to rebuild the franchise. They finished with the fourth-worst record in the NBA.

Following the lead of the Falcons and the Braves, the Hawks are also beginning a six-month, nearly $200 million renovation of Philips Arena. According to Rosenberg, that doesn’t mean success on the court.

“You can put billions of dollars into an arena, into a stadium, but if you don’t win, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Rosenberg said to turn things around, the Hawks will need some good draft picks and a new, up-and-coming coach who will stick around long enough to see the rebuild through.

Schlenk said this week that the team is looking for a new coach that will “connect with … and continue to develop our young players.”