Jon Horst believes the Milwaukee Bucks are still in the beginning of their championship window with Giannis Antetokounmpo just turning 26 and newly signed to a five-year supermax contract. Horst became general manager of the Bucks in 2017.
“This is a franchise, in my opinion, that is young in its evolution of championship contention,” said Horst to The Athletic. “I think my first year, we won 44 games and went from not having advanced in the playoffs in something like 17 years to a team that wins 60 games, goes to an Eastern Conference Finals, is up, 2-0, to a team last year that had historic success in the regular season before a global pandemic hits. And then didn’t have a very good playoff run and bottomed out into this year. And now, we’ll see.
“There’s a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of expectation, and I think we’re all accepting of that and ready for that. But I think we have to be careful too to not forget how this franchise has grown under his coaching, under Giannis’ growth in the last couple of years and we’ve made some significant steps and really grown in great ways. And I’m proud of that. And Bud should be proud of that. And he and his staff deserve a lot of credit. But we’ve got to get better; we talk about it every day. Every day, we’ve got to get better. And I’m telling you, he and his staff have worked every single day to figure out how to improve on what we did in our last playoff run. Our players have done the same thing. And obviously, with the roster, we’ve tried to do everything we can. And I think we’re all being evaluated. We’re all held accountable — players, front office and coaching staff — to constantly get better and put ourselves in a position to compete for a championship every season. And that’s what Giannis signed up for, right? At the end of the day, he signed up for what we’ve done, who we are, and that, now and going forward, we’re going to put ourselves in a position to compete every single year. And we’re all responsible to figure out how to do that.”