The Milwaukee Bucks have made a surprising move by parting ways with head coach Adrian Griffin after just 43 games, despite the team boasting one of the league's top records at the midpoint of his first season.
The decision comes as a shock, especially considering the Bucks are currently 30-13 and sitting at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference.
General Manager Jon Horst expressed the difficulty of the decision, stating, "This was a difficult decision to make during the season. We are working immediately toward hiring our next head coach. We thank Coach Griffin for his hard work and contributions to the team.
The Bucks are now on the lookout for an experienced and available veteran head coach, with sources indicating that Doc Rivers is a top target.
Conversations between the Bucks and Rivers are already in progress, and the franchise is eager to secure a new leader quickly.
Joe Prunty, a veteran assistant, will take over as the interim coach as the Bucks navigate this coaching transition.
Horst is expected to address the media at a news conference before the team's upcoming home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Griffin was appointed as head coach over the summer, succeeding longtime coach Mike Budenholzer.
The move came after the Bucks acquired star player Damian Lillard in a blockbuster trade, raising expectations for a successful season.
Despite the impressive record, the Bucks have faced challenges, particularly on the defensive end. Their defensive ranking has slipped from fourth last season to 22nd this year, and recent games against the Detroit Pistons saw them concede 135 and 113 points consecutively.
Griffin, 49, brought 16 seasons of NBA assistant coaching experience to the role, including the last five with the Toronto Raptors. His departure marks the latest coaching change in a season that has seen unexpected shifts in leadership across the league.