Adrian WojnarowskiVeteran NBA Insider3 minutes of reading
The Bucs landed their option on Griffin on Saturday morning and began negotiations on a multi-year contract that is expected to result in a formalized deal soon, sources said.
Bucks general manager Jon Hurst and the team’s ownership were sold on Griffin’s leadership presence, character and ability to oversee top-level defensive teams, sources said.
Griffin replaces Mike Budenholzer, who was fired after five years following a first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat. Griffin takes over a franchise that has seen significant success in recent years around two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and is just two years removed from winning an NBA title.
Sources said each of the three finalists — Griffin, Golden State Warriors associate head coach Kenny Atkinson and former Raptors coach Nick Nurse — met with Antetokounmpo as part of the search process.
Griffin, a top assistant for the Nurses the past four years in Toronto, earned his first head coaching job and earned a reputation as a top defensive coach. He built his defensive system under Scott Skiles, Tom Thibodeau, Billy Donovan and Nurse. Griffin also built a reputation for his player development that included his work with Jimmy Butler and Pascal Siakam.
Griffin has a history with Horst, who was in the front office when Griffin began his coaching career in Milwaukee in 2008. A steady climber among league assistants as a top head coaching candidate, Griffin also had stops in Oklahoma City, Orlando and Stab. Chicago.
Griffin played parts of nine seasons in the NBA, including stops with Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston and Seattle. He started eight games in the 2006 playoffs during the Mavericks’ NBA Finals run. He was also voted MVP in both the Continental Basketball Association and the United States Basketball League.
Griffin, who played at Seton Hall, is the father of Atlanta Hawks forward Adrian Griffin Jr.