MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The Milwaukee Bucks' new general manager, Jon Horst, was introduced in his first press conference Monday morning. Horst was an internal hire as the organization's former director of basketball operations.
The 34-year-old has been with the Bucks since 2008 and expressed excitement for taking on a different role within the organization.
"I'm just excited to get back to basketball. That's what I do: I'm a basketball expert (with) 13-plus years of experience in this business," Horst said. "This stuff is all new for me. I'm excited for all this stuff, too."
He will take over a young, promising roster led by All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks finished above. 500 for the first time since 2009-10, losing to the Toronto Raptors in the first round in six games.
The franchise is also moving into a new downtown arena next year.
With the draft coming up, Horst will have calls to make very quickly, but he said the learning curve isn't too steep for him.
"We've got a draft in a couple days here that's pretty important, we've got free agency," he said. "I think there are many benefits of me being in this position now. I've been working on the Milwaukee Bucks' draft process for this draft for over a year, right? I'm an internal candidate, so we're in a great spot for the draft. Our team has spent tremendous hours preparing for the draft, preparing for free agency. We're going to get 17 right, we're going to get 48 right."
Horst also pointed to former GM, John Hammond, and the influence he had on Horst's development in Milwaukee.
"John's a tremendous mentor... a tremendous person, a tremendous talent-evaluator," Horst said.
Despite reported dissonance among team ownership through the selection process, co-owner Wes Edens said ultimately "the choice was a very clear one" to hire Horst as GM.
"It may seem like a surprising outcome. I've been asked that question by other people. At the end of it all, it was never really a surprise for us," Edens said. "The process might look like it's a little bit sloppy, but at the end of the day, the result is what matters. We got the right guy for the job."