ATLANTA — New Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is “living a dream” as he makes plans to remain with the Spurs through the NBA Finals before turning his full focus to his first NBA head coaching job.
Budenholzer, the longtime San Antonio assistant, was named the Hawks’ coach Tuesday, one day after the Spurs completed a four-game sweep of Memphis in the Western Conference finals.
“It’s been a pretty amazing 48 hours, I’ll be very honest with you,” Budenholzer said on Wednesday as he was introduced by Hawks general manager Danny Ferry. “It’s exciting for my family, exciting for me.
“The opportunity to come here with the Atlanta Hawks, when you couple that with coming to the NBA Finals, I’m living a dream.”
Budenholzer, 43, spent 19 years with the Spurs, including 17 seasons as an assistant. He was the top assistant for coach Gregg Popovich the past six years, but he might be a new name to many fans outside of San Antonio.
“I’m definitely not a sexy hire,” Budenholzer said. “Thankfully, that wasn’t on Danny’s shopping list.”
BOBCATS: Hired longtime NBA assistant coach Steve Clifford as their new head coach.
An assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, Clifford becomes the Bobcats’ sixth different coach since the 2006-07 season.
He spent five seasons (2007-12) working as an assistant under Stan Van Gundy in Orlando. He was also as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets for four years and with the New York Knicks for three.
This will be his first NBA head coaching job.
TRAIL BLAZERS: Guard Wes Matthews has undergone an arthroscopic procedure on his left elbow. Matthews’ recovery should take three to four weeks. The procedure, an arthroscopic debridement, was performed at a St. Louis hospital on Wednesday.
Matthews averaged 14.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a starter last season for the Blazers.