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Report: Bucks Hire Doc Rivers as Head Coach

Someone other than CNN Sports confirms hiring

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In a whirlwind 24 hours for the Milwaukee Bucks, general manager Jon Horst has gotten rid of Adrian Griffin and, as initial reporting had suggested, landed his preferred replacement in Doc Rivers:

Per Woj’s reporting, the Bucks and Rivers negotiated deep into the evening last night into this morning before finally reaching a deal. All signs point to Horst knowing exactly who he wanted for the job with secondary candidates there as emergency fallbacks. And, with the news that Rivers has been “consulting” Griffin for over a month, it is safe to assume Doc has been preparing for just this eventuality for a bit.

With the Bucks set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, the assumption is that interim coach Joe Prunty will lead the team from the sidelines before Doc takes over fully tomorrow on the team’s off day.

This coaching assignment will represent Rivers’s 25th year as an NBA head coach — a quarter century that has seen him lead the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and most recently the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s made 19 playoff appearances with one title to his name, and has a 111-104 (.516) lifetime playoff record.

There will be plenty of analysis in the coming days of Doc’s strengths (known for pragmatic schemes, emphasizing P&R in his offense, trusting lead PGs to do a lot of the work on the floor) and weaknesses (very slow to adjust in playoff series, ride or die with “his guys” regardless of result on the court, not much of a young talent developer) as a head coach. For the Bucks, the move clearly represents about as decisive a shift in terms of on the job experience as they could manage mid-season from a total rookie to one of the most tenured guys in and around the league.

We’ll keep an eye out for updates on the coaching staff, contract details if we get them, and anything else of interest as the news settles.


Update: While the entire coaching staff’s status is TBD, it sounds like Dave Joerger is Doc’s top target:

He’s currently a “consultant” for JB Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers and so available for hire. When more details drop, we’ll update accordingly.


Welcome back to Milwaukee, Doc. We wish you the best of luck — you’re probably going to need it.