Why Doc Rivers is Exactly What the Bucks Need

The Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement to make Doc Rivers new head coach
May 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers in the second half
May 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers in the second half / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a hectic 24 hours for the Milwaukee Bucks. On Jan. 23, the Bucks fired first-year head coach Adrian Griffin just 43 games into his tenure. The Bucks quickly pivoted and their sights set on securing a well-known name around league circles.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Milwaukee and Doc Rivers are finalizing an agreement to make him the next head coach.

Rivers will take over a Bucks team that is second in the Eastern Conference with a 30-13 record. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard will now join a long list of superstars who have played under Rivers.

The list includes Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garrett, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Chris Paul, and many more. And while he's coached some of the biggest names in the game over the last two decades, he's typically had great relationships with his veterans and star players.

That's a stark contrast to what Griffin was doing in Milwaukee.

According to Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes, Griffin reportedly lost the locker room when he had an "airing out session" after their loss to the Indiana Pacers in the In-Season Tournament. That meeting featured Antetokounmpo, Lillard, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez.

There was an uneasy feeling within the locker room that seemed to hover over the team. Antetokounmpo even had a heated exchange with Griffin in the Bucks Nov. 22 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Things didn't get better over the next few months and it even looked like Antetokounmpo was on the sideline drawing up an offensive play in the Jan. 22 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Rivers has a reputation for connecting with his star players and getting the most out of them. The 62-year-old coach will step into a championship-caliber roster and will be tasked with making sure they get over the hump. Rivers has displayed his ability to do that in the past and gets another opportunity in Milwaukee.

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