Giannis Antetokounmpo admits he's "excited" to play for new head coach Mike Budenholzer

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The Milwaukee Bucks officially confirmed Mike Budenholzer as their new head coach on Thursday after agreeing a four-year deal with the former Atlanta Hawks man. 

This decision has certainly gone down well with star player Giannis Antetokounmpo who endorsed the team's new appointment. 

"He's a great coach. He was the Coach of the Year in the 2015-2016 season," he said on ESPN's NBA Draft Combine show on Thursday.

"We had a great conversation (before Budenholzer was hired and) talked about the game plan. How he views me as a player, how he can help this team. I had a lot of tough questions for him. But it was fun, I'm excited to play for him."

Before the Bucks made an offer to Budenholzer, they arranged a meeting between him, Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. 

Milwaukee Bucks v Charlotte Hornets

The team was keen for its best players to be involved in the process and get an idea of the direction they wanted to go in with their new coach. 

The Greek Freak was grateful that the front office decided to set up this meeting before making the appointment. 

"Obviously I'm not the guy that's going to make the decision," he said. "We can reverse that, like the front office is not going to tell me how to shoot a jump shot. I do my job; they do their part. But it was great having the conversation with him."

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics - Game Seven

As the franchise player, the Bucks wanted the 23-year-old to have some input on this decision and be on board with Budenholzer's arrival.

After officially making the announcement of coach Bud on Thursday, Milwaukee's owners cited his ability to teach and develop players as a major reason why they wanted him to take charge.

"He's widely respected and has shown a special ability to teach and develop players," Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan said in a statement. 

"His leadership, basketball intellect, championship-level experience and communication skills make him the right fit to take our team to the next level."

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

The 48-year-old was fired by the Hawks earlier this month after they finished the season with the worst record in the east at 28-54. 

This didn't deter teams from approaching him, however, as he had interviews with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns as well as holding discussions with the Toronto Raptors. 

But he was always the number one target for Bucks general manager Jon Horst and he was successful in landing his man. 

They are hoping that Budenholzer can be the man to finally get the best out of a talented group and compete with the best teams in the east.

Listen HERE to episode two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein.

Enjoy, and please subscribe for all future episodes.

Mike Budenholzer
Khris Middleton
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Central Division
Eric Bledsoe
Milwaukee Bucks
Eastern Conference

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