01/22/2018 11:48 EST | Updated 01/24/2018 15:03 EST

Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Jason Kidd; name Prunty as interim head coach

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd following a midseason slide that left the playoff hopeful in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Assistant coach Joe Prunty was named the interim head coach prior to the club's game Monday night game against Phoenix.

It was a surprising end to Kidd's three-plus season tenure in Milwaukee (23-22), when the Bucks made the playoffs twice. Giannis Antetokounmpo turned into an all-star under his watch.

The Bucks were considered an emerging force in the East at the start of the season. But they've lost four of five going into Monday's game and had been prone to defensive lapses especially on the perimeter.

General manager Jon Horst says "a fresh approach and a change in leadership are needed to continue elevating our talented team towards the next level."

Kidd was 139-152 over three-plus seasons with Milwaukee.


More AP NBA: