Former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Larry Drew talked about his abrupt dismissal in a recent interview, and while he was miffed at his dismissal, he doesn’t hold any ill-will after it all went down.
In his first season with the Bucks, Drew managed a disappointing 15-67 record with a team that was ravaged by injuries and inconsistent play. Despite the poor record, there were no indications heading into the offseason Drew was on the hot seat. That is, of course, until Jason Kidd executed a failed power play in Brooklyn and his cursory discussions with Milwaukee’s new ownership up until that point became more of a reality as he plotted his own exit strategy from the Nets.
After several days of negotiations, Drew was let go and Kidd was brought in as the new head coach of the Bucks.
Now that the dust surrounding Drew’s dismissal has settled, he spoke with Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, and admits he was caught off guard by the firing, but holds no grudge:
Larry Drew said he was “blindsided” by the way he lost his job as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Commenting at length for the first time since he was fired by the Bucks’ new ownership June 30, Drew said his firing was “definitely mystifying.”
“From their (the owners’) standpoint, there’s no set time for these type of things,” Drew said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel.
“It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don’t have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody.
“Marc Lasry called me and I just wished him luck. I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
Of course, many people have pointed out that Drew was on the other side of a coaching controversy not long ago. After Drew took over from Mike Woodson as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, there was a reported rift between the two over a similar problem of a coach going for someone else’s job while they were still employed. Via Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“We haven’t talked,” Woodson said. “I just want to talk about basketball. Let’s keep it that way.”
Drew confirmed that the two haven’t talked since Woodson left, and it’s not hard to figure why.
To get his first head-coaching job, Drew had to convince Hawks owners that he would do things differently than Woodson. Drew also told the owners he had ideas that Woodson never implemented–ideas that the owners also favored.
You can see why that might lead Woody to think his old friend and former teammate turned on him. But the bigger problem, according to Woody confidants, is that Woody believes Drew was making his case to be head coach with the team’s owners while Woody still had the job.
So, if anyone knows how cutthroat the coaching business can be, it’s Drew.
After being fired by the Bucks, Drew has landed as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he will help David Blatt get acclimated in his first season as an NBA head coach.
We’re guessing Drew won’t finish 15-67 again this season.
What do you think?
Follow steven lebron on Twitter at @steven_lebron.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE