Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Jason Kidd

The Milwaukee Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd on Monday amid a midseason slide that has left the playoff hopeful in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

It was a surprising end to Kidd's three-plus season tenure in Milwaukee, when the Bucks made the playoffs twice. Giannis Antetokounmpo turned into an All-Star under his watch, and the Bucks were considered an emerging force in the East at the start of the season.

But the Bucks had lost four of five going into Monday night's home game against Phoenix, and had been prone to defensive lapses especially on the perimeter. Assistant coach Joe Prunty was serving as head coach.

Under Kidd, the Bucks had a regular-season record of 139-152.

"We appreciate everything that Jason has done for the Bucks organization, but we have decided to make a coaching change," Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. "We believe that a fresh approach and a change in leadership are needed to continue elevating our talented team toward the next level, bringing us closer to our goal of competing for championships."

The Bucks are hoping to get Jabari Parker back from a left knee injury that has kept him out all season. But the Bucks have largely tread water in the wide-open East even after adding talented guard Eric Bledsoe in a trade with the Suns in November.