Two months ago, the Milwaukee Bucks awkwardly left incumbent coach Larry Drew twisting in the wind as they courted and eventually hired away Jason Kidd from the Brooklyn Nets. Drew had not spoken publicly at length about the Bucks' action ... until now.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Drew admitted he was "blindsided" by the timing of his firing, which he called "definitely mystifying." Yet he tried to maintain perspective on being let go.
"It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don't have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody."
The Bucks were decimated by injuries and finished with a 15-67 record in Drew's first season on the job, so one could argue there was justification to fire him. But instead of doing so directly, new Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens negotiated with Kidd while leaving Drew hanging. A dual president/coach role was discussed before the two sides finally settled on Kidd becoming the head coach only.
All the while, Drew was left out in the cold. Reports indicated that the Bucks' new owners didn't inform him or general manager John Hammond (who remained in charge) about their negotiations with Kidd. Drew was especially upset that he was forced to join rookie Jabari Parker's introductory press conference while the team's new owners were secretly in the process of replacing him.
"The whole Jabari thing, putting me in that position, I don't think it was very professional," Drew said. "I wish it wouldn't have happened that way, but it did."
Lasry eventually apologized to Hammond for how he handled Kidd's negotiations, but never mentioned Drew by name. Drew was only fired after the Bucks agreed to a new contract with Kidd.
Drew posted a 128-102 record in three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks prior to being hired by Milwaukee. He signed on to be an assistant coach for David Blatt in Cleveland next season.