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Highlights from Jon Horst’s Introductory Press Conference

After a “sloppy” start, a new era begins in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Bucks introduced their new GM Jon Horst this morning with owner Wes Edens sitting right besides him. The press conference was brief, only 26 minutes long and featured the usual congratulations and front office platitudes. Horst comes off as an “aw-shucks” guy, thanking individual press members for congratulating him on the position and even singling out Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to congratulate him on his role. His down to earth attitude feels almost too stereotypically midwestern, but one wouldn’t expect much else at an introductory press conference. His enthusiasm and verve for the impending job felt genuine, so let’s hope that carries into a job well done. A few thoughts and notes from the conference:

  • Wes Edens was the only owner who went onstage alongside Horst, an interesting but not surprising choice given most reports billed him as the guy who dissented to running with Justin Zanik as the new GM.
  • Speaking of Zanik, Edens informed the media that Zanik will no longer have a role with the team and called it an “uncomfortable situation” for him. Edens went on to say he thought Zanik was a high quality professional but he’s going to move on and Horst will be able to build up his staff internally. This isn’t exactly surprising news considering it confirms what most of us already assumed, but it was still jarring considering Edens later said that hiring Zanik as the Assistant GM last year (a position Horst interviewed for) was indeed the right decision. Here’s a full quote from Edens:

“Justin did a fine job, terrific guy has all the skills necessary to be a general manager in this league so he was very much considered...”

  • Horst was very complimentary of John Hammond, citing their long working relationship and that he’s taken many outstanding traits from his mentor. Edens also mentioned Hammond, citing that they weren’t expecting to have to undergo a GM search this offseason, but ownership wasn’t willing to give Hammond a long-term offer that he wanted so he bolted for the beaches of Orlando.
  • Edens mentioned multiple times how the proliferation of talent they have within the organization was a primary reason they felt comfortable going with a less experience candidate like Jon Horst. He discussed how it would be crazy not to use their resources to gather as many available informed opinions as possible before making a decision.
  • Edens took a dig at the Sixers organization, mentioning how they like to talk about “process” a lot but they like to talk about the results. He even went to far as to characterize their process for this search “a little bit sloppy” but said as long as they got the right man for the job that’s all that matters.
  • Horst mentioned only two players by name, Tony Snell and Greg Monroe, in regards to their upcoming free agency. He talked about Tony’s value specifically to the organization with his skillset, but went with what’s been the company line about Monroe thus far saying he has a big decision coming and they’ll address it accordingly. No word on Hawes opt-out though.
  • Matthew Dellavedova, Rashad Vaughn, Gary Payton II, Thon Maker and Jabari Parker were all in attendance.

And that was that. No feet-stomping, no uproar, just a traditional, plain old press conference introducing the key decision maker in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future. If you’re interested in watching the full conference, head to the Bucks site.