Former Sixers’ HC Doc Rivers hired by the Milwaukee Bucks

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Sixers doc rivers
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers shouts during the first half on the team’s NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Former Sixers head coach Doc Rivers has been hired as the in-season replacement for the Milwaukee Bucks after the firing of rookie head coach Adrian Griffin.

Griffin’s departure came as a shock to many as the Milwaukee Bucks, after trading for NBA superstar Damian Lillard, currently sit at the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with 30 wins and 13 losses. However, the Bucks seemed to have decided they would like someone with a little bit more experience holding the reigns as they try to capitalize on the championship window that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard have together.

Sixers doc river
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers watches from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Doc Rivers certainly has experience, with over 2000 over the regular season and the playoffs. Rivers also has had some notorious playoff demons though, with a record of 17-33 in closeout games. Rivers is also the only coach in NBA history to blow multiple 3-1 leads in the playoffs.

Doc Rivers background

As almost anyone who watched basketball for the past few years knows, Doc Rivers was the Sixers coach for the past 3 seasons prior to Nick Nurse’s arrival. During that time he amassed 154 regular season wins, along with 3 playoff series victories. Yet, his time with the Sixers is hardly looked at as a success.

Doc rivers
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers calls to his players during the first half of Game 2 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

He never coached the team out of the second round and his struggles from a play-calling and system standpoint were prevalent throughout his three imperfect years in Philadelphia. Despite that, he did still coach Joel Embiid through his MVP season, and his two runner-up finishes the years prior.

For all of his struggles, he is a coach who has always leaned into his star players and now he has two of the NBA’s best on his team. Before coaching the Sixers, Rivers was the head coach for the Lob City Clippers, the Boston Celtics (where he won a championship), and the Orlando Magic.

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson