WTMJ’s Doug Russell begins his five-part series on the Milwaukee Bucks assistant coaches. Prior to Milwaukee leaving on their west coast road trip, and before head coach Jason Kidd took his leave of absence for hip surgery, Doug spent part of the afternoon in lead assistant Joe Prunty’s office at the team’s St. Francis training center.
Casual Bucks fans may not know much about Joe Prunty. After all, he never played past the community college level and never has been a head coach in the NBA. But Prunty now finds himself the acting coach of the Bucks while Jason Kidd recovers from hip surgery.
Kidd and Prunty go back to their days in Dallas when the now-head coach was coached by his now-fill-in.
But unlike other coaches on the Bucks bench, Prunty has run his own program at a high level; during his offseason, Prunty is the head coach of the British National Team.
In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Joe Prunty who has served as both an assistant and head coach in the NBA joins us to discuss the big picture of NBA coaching. In 22 seasons, Prunty has won three NBA Championships with San Antonio (1999, 2003 and 2005), one NBA Finals appearance with Dallas (2006), four Western Conference Championships (Spurs, Mavericks), and 16 NBA Playoffs appearances.In 2017-18, Prunty had a 21-16 record while serving as the Bucks’ interim head coach and led the team to an NBA playoff appearance.
Prunty also served as the interim head coach for 17 games in 2015-16 while Jason Kidd underwent surgery and was appointed interim head coach when Jason Kidd was out for two games with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14.The Bucks went 8-9 and ranked 4th in the East in Offensive Rating during this stretch.
He served as the head coach of the Great Britain National Team for five years (2013-17). Lastly, he was on staff of Gregg Popovich and Avery Johnson when they won Coach of the Year Awards.