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February 16, 2019

Mike Budenholzer

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. Do you think anybody has enough to match the Warriors?
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Does anybody have enough to match the Warriors? I'm sure we all feel like we'd like to get in a position where we're competing against the Warriors or whoever comes out of the West. Certainly in Milwaukee, we feel like we can compete with the best. I'm sure the other teams in the East feel the same way.

Q. Kemba Walker is a first-time starter in the All-Star Game, three-time All Star. What have you seen from him the past few years that's brought him to that level?
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I think the biggest thing with Kemba's development is how he's become lethal from the three-point line. Those pull-up, pick-and-roll shots off the dribble, he makes them look easy, and it's just, I think, really changed how you have to guard him, how you have to guard the Hornets. He's always had just incredible dribble game and step-backs and all that stuff. But I think the biggest thing is stepping back behind the line and hitting them at a high rate.

Q. He's obviously going to be amped up playing in his home city. What do you do as a coach trying to control that?
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Turn him loose. I've had however many fortnights to try to control him. Now it's my turn to whatever, just go crazy and have a lot of fun with it.

Q. It's Michael Jordan's birthday. If you had to get him something for his birthday, what would you get him?
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: What would I get Michael Jordan for his birthday? A sleeve of Pro V1 golf balls.

Q. You have a lot of talent on your team. What's the biggest adjustment to have such balance during the season?
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I think we're just trying to encourage everybody to play unselfishly, to move, move the ball, move each other, player movement, stuff like that. If you're open, take advantage of it, and everybody play with a lot of confidence. So I think all up and down the roster, everybody kind of understands how we want to play. I think everybody's reaping the benefits of it.

Q. Talk about the addition of Brook Lopez.
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: The addition of Brook Lopez has been incredibly important to us. What he does for us on both ends of the court. Defensively, he gives us great presence in the paint, presence at the rim, blocking shots. And then offensively, the space he gives us at the three-point line. He's been a huge addition.

Q. Back again, can you give a couple of words how this whole ride has been as a coach now? Second-time All Star head coach.
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: It's been a very special ride. I certainly didn't think it was going to happen in 2015 to be coaching at All-Star Weekend. Now here we are 2019, doing it again. Just feel incredibly blessed and incredibly fortunate, and excited about the weekend, excited about the rest of the season.

Q. You had a great run in Atlanta, now with a new team, a new arena. Can you take us through that new setup for you as a head coach.
MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I feel like we joined the Milwaukee Bucks organization at the perfect time. The facilities, brand new arena that's just -- it's incredible. The fans there, the energy in our arena, it's off the charts. New practice facility, a roster that's in a great place, ownership, front office -- everything is just really, really set up to have great success. I feel fortunate to be the coach there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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