PHOENIX SUNS

New Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer ‘would go anywhere to coach this team’

May 17, 2024, 1:12 PM | Updated: 3:51 pm

It’s a dream-come-true moment for new Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Having grown up in Holbrook, Arizona, and followed the team at a young age, Budenholzer understands the opportunity ahead of him and isn’t taking it for granted.

His reminiscing about former Suns like Paul Westphal and Alvan Adams during his press conference on top of his proper response to former play-by-play voice Al McCoy’s presence was further proof of that.

“I didn’t know Al McCoy was going to be here today. I’ll maybe circle back to Al McCoy and do some names and history, but the biggest message I want (Suns fans) to hear is I would coach this team if it was on the moon. I would coach this team if it was in Alaska. If these players were in Denmark and these owners and front office. I would go anywhere to coach this team.

“That’s the most important thing for me. I’m excited about the roster. I’m excited about everything. At the same time, it’s amazing. I don’t know what the word is — surreal or wild — but to have Al introduce me and to think about Alvan Adams at the elbows ‘Double A’ and ‘Sweet D’ (Walter Davis) and Paul Westphal and my dad taking me in the backyard and teaching me Paul Westphal’s reverse pivot to a pump fake step through. I could go on.”

Growing up about 200 miles out from where Footprint Center sits under his dad’s basketball tutelage, Budenholzer cut his hoops teeth in the desert. His career has since blossomed behind an NBA championship in 2021 to go along with a 484-601 all-time coaching record across two stops, the Atlanta Hawks from 2013-18 and the Milwaukee Bucks from 2018-23.

The burning question everyone’s asking

Of the big question marks surrounding the Budenholzer hire, one of them surrounds his name.

Is it B-u-d-enholzer or B-o-o-d-enholzer?

“This is tough with my dad in the room. It’s a long story but I say ‘B-o-o-d-enholzer’ but if anyone says ‘B-u-d-enholzer’ that’s fine also. I’ll probably get in trouble when I go home,” he said. “It’s too complicated.”

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