New Suns coach 'excited' to help NBA team realize potential

Former <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Milwaukee Bucks;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Milwaukee Bucks</a> coach Mike Budenholzer was introduced as the new coach of the NBA's <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Phoenix Suns;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Phoenix Suns</a> (Rob Carr)

Arizona native Mike Budenholzer said he would have gone "to the moon" for the chance to coach the Phoenix Suns as the NBA team officially introduced him as their new coach on Friday.

"I think the biggest message I want you to hear: I would coach this team if it was on the moon," Budenholzer said. "I would coach this team if it was in Alaska.

"If these players were in Denmark, these owners and front office, I would go anywhere to coach this team," said Budenholzer.

"That's the most important thing for me. I'm excited about the roster."

The Suns sacked coach Frank Vogel 11 days after they were swept out of the NBA playoffs by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He had been hired last June to replace Monty Williams, but the Suns were a disappointment in the regular season and the playoffs, struggling with injuries to unite their three star players -- forward Kevin Durant and guards Bradley Beal and Devin Booker.

Budenholzer said he was thrilled at the prospect of guiding that trio.

"I'm excited about working with this roster and these players," he said. "We have great players and with great players come great expectations.

Budenholzer, who guided the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA title in 2021, was fired after their first-round playoff exit in 2023 and didn't coach this past season.

He said the time away had been a chance to recharge and now he's ready to "embrace the expectations, embrace the pressure of being an elite team, of having great players and great expectations."

"We're all going to have an amazing time and an amazing feeling. But it's a ton of work that goes into it and I think we all are excited about the work."