FILE - In this May 29, 2013, file photo, Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer gestures during an NBA basketball news conference in Atlanta. Budenholzer has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence after being pulled over Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis, File)
Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:10 pm
Hawks coach Budenholzer arrested on DUI charge
By CHARLES ODUMAP Sports Writer
According to a report from the Georgia State Patrol, Budenholzer was pulled over at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in Atlanta for not having working taillights. Trooper J. Nelms said Budenholzer had bloodshot and watery eyes "and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath."
Budenholzer refused a breath test but agreed to a field sobriety test, according to the report. He told Nelms he had only one glass of wine and that he finished the glass about 15 minutes before being pulled over. Nelms said in the report that Budenholzer was "polite" and that his speech patterns were mumbled, slow and slurred.
Budenholzer issued an apology in a statement released by his attorney, Michael Hawkins.
"I take my role as a leader very seriously and hold myself to a high standard," Budenholzer said. "I apologize to the fans and to the Hawks organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon my family and the organization while the legal process evolves and I contest these misdemeanor charges."
Budenholzer, who was released from jail on $1,524 bond, entered a not guilty plea at Atlanta Municipal Court on Thursday, according to Hawkins.
Hawks general manager Danny Ferry said in a statement that Budenholzer immediately informed him of the arrest and that team officials are gathering more information.
"We take this matter seriously and have been in constant communication with coach Budenholzer throughout this situation," Ferry said in a second statement released Thursday afternoon. "We support him during this legal process and will let that take its course."
Hawkins said Budenholzer asked to consult with an attorney before his arrest. Hawkins said Budenholzer volunteered at the jail to take both a breathalyzer and a blood alcohol test and was denied both requests.
Hawkins said following Budenholzer's release from jail, the coach went to Piedmont Hospital where his blood alcohol was tested at .01, well below the legal limit of .08. Hawkins said that test came "several hours" after the arrest.
Budenholzer, 44, a former longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant, was named the Hawks coach May 29.
He spent 19 years with the Spurs, including 17 seasons as an assistant. He was the top assistant for coach Gregg Popovich the past six years.
Ferry and Budenholzer worked together in San Antonio. Ferry came to the Hawks last year after two years as vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs.
Budenholzer was hired to replace Larry Drew, who now is the Milwaukee Bucks' coach.