Doc Rivers Catches Another Stray From Former Player

The Milwaukee Bucks head coach regularly gets criticized by his former players.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks surprised the NBA world in the middle of the 2023-24 season when they hired Doc Rivers following the firing of first-time head coach Adrian Griffin. Even though he is one of the most experienced head coaches in the league, Rivers had consistently struggled in the postseason, not meeting expectations despite having stacked rosters.

A big red flag for Rivers is the fact that his former players regularly attack him. That is not a good sign for any head coach.

The latest player to openly throw shade at him was former NBA veteran Matt Barnes. When discussing what happened to the Los Angeles Clippers under Doc Rivers, Barnes took to social media and publicly blamed his former head coach.

Matt Barnes Blames Doc Rivers For Clippers' Demise

On a post on Instagram, Barnes said Rivers broke the Clippers up by signing his son Austin.

"Doc broke that s*** up when he paid his son that money. He lost the team after that."

Matt Barnes

Doc Rivers coached the Clippers between 2013 and 2020 and failed to advance past the second round despite having a ton of talent including Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Matt Barnes spent two seasons with the Clippers under Rivers.

What Barnes is referring to in his post is the fact that the Clippers traded for Austin Rivers in 2015, then re-signed him to two separate contracts. Austin played well and became a decent bench player for Los Angeles but apparently caused a major locker room issue within the team.

It is impossible to know the exact details of the dynamics of the Clippers locker room. What we can know however is the fact that his former players don't shy away from pointing fingers at Doc Rivers. This is not something we see in other head coach-former player relationships around the league.

Rivers had a disastrous tenure with the Bucks last season, going 17-19 to finish the year. His job was potentially saved by the injuries to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard in the playoffs. Otherwise, a first-round loss would have put him on the hot seat immediately.

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