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Skiles: 'Normal coach-player friction' existed ..Skiles fires shot at Yahoo! writer
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Posted by the prodigy on 2013-01-08 11:13:06

Former Bucks coach Scott Skiles is out the door and he's not firing back.

But he does want to set the record straight on a few issues.

How about that one circulating on social media Monday that he "hated his team."

"That's an absolute lie," Skiles said. "If (the writer) has that information, it was given to him by somebody to demean me."

Skiles and the Bucks agreed to part ways Monday and Jim Boylan was named coach for the remainder of the season. Boylan's debut as Bucks coach will come Tuesday night at home against the Phoenix Suns.

So what did Skiles think of his team? The Bucks went 16-16 under his leadership this season and were tied for the seventh playoff position in the Eastern Conference, although they had lost four straight.

"There's always the normal coach-player friction that goes on," Skiles said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. "Guys at this level are great players. This is, as NBA teams go, this is a good group of guys."

As for some of the commentary following his departure, Skiles said, "I leave it to other people to burn people in this league. There are a lot of shady people in this league."

Skiles made numerous lineup changes in the early part of the season in an effort to find the right mix. Veteran Samuel Dalembert started at center at the outset before going to the bench, and veteran Drew Gooden was not part of the regular rotation.

Third-year player Larry Sanders emerged as the Bucks starting center, and Tobias Harris, Ekpe Udoh and Marquis Daniels had runs in the starting lineup. Ersan Ilyasova started at power forward but struggled and eventually moved to a backup role. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was injured at the start of the season but moved into the starting lineup when he returned.

The constants in the Milwaukee lineup were guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, both of whom have started all 32 games.

Skiles said he was engaged with the team and gave his full effort. He was working in the final year of his contract after not having the deal extended after last season.

Did he want to be here?

"That's a question it's not easy to answer," Skiles said. "Absolutely (he was committed). That's the absolute bare minimum I owe the franchise."

Skiles confirmed he was not offered an extension at any point since the season started. He finished four-plus seasons with the Bucks with a 162-182 record (.471 winning percentage), including a 46-36 record in his second season when the team reached the playoffs. The Bucks had losing marks in his other three seasons.

"Ultimately if you're some place three, four, five years, unless you enter into a full rebuilding mode, you will be judged on wins and losses," Skiles said. "It wasn't good enough."

This is the second time Boylan has succeeded him as head coach. It also happened in Chicago during the 2007-'08 season and Boylan directed the Bulls to a 24-32 mark.

"Jim deserves a fair chance here," Skiles said. "All the guys on the staff are good basketball guys. I'm sure he will do very well."

Skiles said he was not pondering his future or whether he would coach again in the NBA. He is 443-433 in 12-plus seasons as head coach of the Suns, the Bulls and the Bucks.

"Today as you can probably imagine, my phone is blowing up," Skiles said. "All last night and all day today. But it will die down. I'm going to go home (to Indiana) and enjoy some down time."



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