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Gregg Popovich comments on the departure of Mike Budenholzer

San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich gives assistant Mike Budenholzer high praise as he is named as the new head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.


New Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer will remain with the San Antonio Spurs through the remainder of the playoffs but Gregg Popovich will eventually face having to replace a key member of his coaching staff during the offseason.

"I couldn't be happier for Mike for many reasons. As anyone who's been part of this program knows, he has been more of a co-head coach than an assistant for a long time. His knowledge of the game as well as his ability to teach and develop relationships with players are all special," said Popovich. "I will miss him a great deal both professionally and personally and am confident that he and Danny will make a great team as the future unfolds."

Budenholzer had reportedly spoken with Hawks general manager on several occasions about the Atlanta's head coaching position. He had his first formal meeting with Ferry after the Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the playoffs. When the Spurs completed the sweep of Memphis to advance to the NBA Finals, Ferry wasted little time in pushing to get a deal done.

In the short term, Budenholzer will remain focused on helping the Spurs capture another NBA title. He will also have to find the time to begin building a coaching staff for Atlanta as well as get on the same page with Ferry in regards to the upcoming NBA Draft.