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Cam’s comments: The Phoenix Suns new head coach

Mike Budenholzer is 22nd head coach for the Suns and the third head coach in three years.

PHOENIX — The Suns are introducing their third different head coach in three years Friday. This will be Devin Booker’s seventh different head coach going into his tenth season.

But finally a hire our entire state can rally around from the jump.

Mike Budenholzer has already won his introductory press conferences.

This is a hire for Suns fans.

He’s one of us. Someone who has earned everything in his career, and our Valley certainly knows how to appreciate those who earn it. We will rally behind that kind of effort and hustle.

Budenholzer is about as basketball coach as it gets. He grew up around the game. Grew up in a coaching household.

Bud knows how to manage stars – like all-time great stars — he’s seen it and done it his entire NBA career.   

He’s a winner. Been around winning. Been around accountability. Coach Bud knows how to hold players accountable, but also understands how to let players be themselves.

“Bud, he’s tough,” former San Antonio Spurs star Sean Elliott told the Athletic. “He’s a bulldog.”

Another former player telling the Athletic “(Bud) can coach his ass off.”

Knows how to get guys an open shot, especially from deep. These were all things the Suns were missing last season.

Coach Bud’s life is a real Hoosiers movie.

His parents are Holbrook royalty. Dad is an Arizona High School basketball hall of fame coach that led Holbrook High to a state title in 1971, and his Mom was the first female city council member and mayor.

The court at Holbrook High School is named after the Budenholzer family. As yes  it’s pronounced “BOO-den-holz-er”, but I know when Mikey was growing up his last name was pronounced “BUD-en-hole-zer.”

His journey to being an NBA coach is a true success story. Like assistant intern to running the entire company type of success story. Coach Bud started out as a video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs in 1994. Budenholzer was so good at his job, the Spurs hired him as an assistant coach. 

He spent the next 17 seasons there, sitting next to one of the greatest coaches in sports Gregg Popovich and helping the Spurs win 4 NBA championships. Then when Coach Bud finally got his shot to call the shots, he became a 2-time NBA Coach of the Year in Atlanta and Milwaukee. And there was that whole Bucks in 6 thing… winning the title over his childhood favorite team.

He told former Suns beat writer Paul Coro back in 2015: 

“I literally remember going in my backyard and my dad teaching me Paul Westphal moves. Sweet D, Walter Davis. Double-A, Alvan Adams. Listening to Al McCoy on the calls.”

If you a Suns fans, a Valley sports fan, that should give you chills.

He’s one of us. Now he gets to make things right for his Suns.

Arizona sports 

The city of Phoenix is home to four major professional sports league teams; The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, NBA’s Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Cardinals have made State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home turf and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers play at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale. 

Phoenix also has a soccer team with the USL’s Phoenix Rising FC, who play at Phoenix Rising FC Stadium in Phoenix. 

The Valley hosts multiple major sporting events on a yearly basis, including college football’s Fiesta Bowl and Guaranteed Rate Bowl; the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event, the WM Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall, including Championship Weekend in November; and Cactus League Spring Training for 15 Major League Baseball franchises. 


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