MIKE Budenholzer was rewarded Tuesday for guiding the Milwaukee Bucks to the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship.

The 52-year-old head coach agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced. According to ESPN, it is a three-year extension on top of the one year left on his former deal, keeping Budenholzer on the job until the summer of 2025.

Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said in a statement, “What an incredible journey we’ve been on, and winning the NBA championship this season makes us appreciate how difficult it is to win and how grateful we are to have the best players and coaches in place to get the job done.

“Mike’s strong leadership, coaching expertise, commitment to player development, and adaptability have been instrumental as we work together to compete for and win championships.”

Budenholzer added in a statement, in part, “The appreciation I have for being a part of the Bucks organization is hard to express… The players make the success happen on and off the court. We have the best players, and to them I am grateful. They’ve grown and we’ve grown together during the last three seasons…”

“We all can’t wait to get back to work and face the great challenge of competing again for an NBA championship.”

Budenholzer has been in charge of the Bucks for three seasons. In his first two years, he led the club to the best record in the Eastern Conference both times, but the Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 conference finals and to the Miami Heat in the 2020 conference semifinals.

This year, Milwaukee finished third in the East in the regular season, but then got past the Heat, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and then beat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

Budenholzer has a 162-65 regular-season record with Milwaukee to go with a 31-17 playoff mark. After 17 years as an assistant for Greg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs, which included four NBA championships, he was the head coach in Atlanta from 2013 to ‘18. He produced a 213-197 regular-season record and a 17-22 postseason ledger with the Hawks.

He was selected the NBA Coach of the Year in 2015 with Atlanta and in 2019 in Milwaukee.

The 2021 championship, sparked by star big man Giannis Antetokounmpo, was Milwaukee’s first since Lew Alcindor (who later became known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) led the Bucks to the 1971 crown. — Reuters