Sports Illustrated‘s Lee Jenkins penned a terrific feature on the Atlanta Hawks, which describes in great detail the way that former Spurs assistant and current ATL head coach Mike Budenholzer has transformed the Hawks into the top team in the Eastern Conference. And, buried deep in the story is this little nugget about the way Bud has developed close personal relationships with his players:
Contrary to his foodie tendencies—undoubtedly- acquired over 19 years spent alongside Popovich—Budenholzer still rides MARTA to the arena. He went to a Drake concert with small forward DeMarre Carroll. He calls or texts players after tough losses: “Thinking about you, man. Don’t worry about the last shot. We got another one tomorrow.” The Hawks refer to him as Bud, which is appropriate. “I’ve never had a coach care about me like this,” says Teague, who has eaten dinner with Budenholzer’s family and plays one-on-one with his sons before games.
Yep, Coach Bud hit a Drake concert with his players. In fact, we did some digging and realized that Teague and Carroll mentioned the Drizzy concert back in January during a sitdown with ESPN. As noted by our good friends at MTV:
When the team’s starting five was asked by ESPN how their coach, Mike Budenholzer, only in his second year, was able to create a winning culture so quickly, point guard Jeff Teague pointed to a watershed bonding moment.
“Me and him built a relationship when I seen him at the Drake concert,” Teague said with a laugh. “He was at the Drake concert! I looked up, I said, ‘Coach Bud?!’ Him and his wife. That was amazing to see him in that atmosphere.”
“I just didn’t see Coach Bud at a Drake concert; I just didn’t see that coming,” he continued. “When I looked back and I seen him, I was like, ‘That’s impressive.’”