MILWAUKEE (AP) Larry Drew said Thursday that his sudden firing as the Milwaukee Bucks' coach came as a surprise, but he accepts the decision by the team's new owners.
''Although my tenure was brief, it will forever be memorable,'' Drew said in a statement issued by his former team.
Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, both New York investment firm executives, recently purchased the team from former U.S. Sen Herb Kohl for about $550 million. They replaced Drew with Brooklyn Nets' coach Jason Kidd earlier this week, and acknowledged they may have made some errors in the way they lured Kidd to Milwaukee.
Drew had no indication he wouldn't return for a second season, and the messy affair played out in the media for days before the deal was formally announced.
''My swift termination did come as a surprise to me, but I accept new owners Wesley Edens' and Marc Lasry's decision that they've made.'' Drew said in the statement. ''I wish the entire Bucks organization and the great city of Milwaukee nothing but the best in the future.''
Drew also thanked Kohl and general manager John Hammond for the opportunity to coach the Bucks this past season, and thanked the Bucks' fans for their love and support.
Kidd led the Nets to a 44-38 record and the second round of the playoffs this past season while Drew went 15-67, the worst record in the league, in his only season guiding the Bucks.
Drew was given a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year when the Bucks hired him in June 2013. His tenure in Atlanta also ended awkwardly, coaching the Hawks into the playoffs while essentially knowing he was unlikely to return.