Giannis Antetokounmpo's moving tribute to fired coach: "We accomplished something unbelievable and I’m forever grateful"

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Losing in the first round of the playoffs despite having a player as skilled as Giannis Antetokounmpo cost Mike Budenholzer his job as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, an NBA insider said. Yet, this has not stopped the "Greek Freak" from making his own tribute to the fired coach.

"Thank you for five meaningful years Coach. We accomplished something unbelievable and I’m forever grateful," Giannis wrote on social media.

Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd said expectations were so high for the Bucks because they have Giannis, and when Milwaukee failed to even get past the first round of the playoffs, Budenholzer took the fall.

“That’s why many people in the industry call being an NBA head coach the worst great job in America, paid a fortune, get a coach’s stars, the better the stars, the higher the expectation,” said Cowherd.

Cowherd said losing in the first round despite having the two-time MVP Antetokounmpo was simply unacceptable.

“The reason Budenholzer was fired is Giannis…because when you have Giannis, you can’t get rolled in a series when you’re a favorite and get out-coached,” Cowherd said.

Cowherd claims Budenholzer “made some real coaching gaffs” in their playoff series with the Heat, and that cost him his job. Coaching blunders in the playoffs is unforgivable, Cowherd pointed out.

“In the playoffs, everybody watches, you’re the favorite, you get rolled, you get fired,” he said.

Failing to call timeouts in the critical moments of Game 5 and being unable to come up with a better defensive ploy to stop the onslaught of Miami’s Jimmy Butler was among the supposed coaching blunders Budenholzer committed in the series.

Giannis himself admitted that the Bucks failed to do a better job of defending Butler.

Antetokounmpo has disclosed that he offered to guard Butler but didn’t get the green light from the coaches.

“At the end of the day, I wish I could’ve guarded [Butler] more. I don’t know, double-team him more, try to make him pass the ball. Maybe switch the matchup for a little bit, give Jrue a break. I don’t think as a team we made the right adjustment, or we didn’t make as many adjustments as we could have against him,” Giannis said after Game 4, where Butler erupted for 56 points.

Cowherd said things could have been different for Budenholzer if Milwaukee didn’t have a player like Antetokounmpo.

“If you don’t have Giannis, if Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton were your best players, maybe he keeps his job. That’s the downside of having a transcendent, generational superstar player. You can’t give away games,” Cowherd said.

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