The Milwaukee Bucks shocked the NBA earlier this week when they made the surprising decision to fire head coach Adrian Griffin midway through his first year with the team. At 30-13 (at the time), Milwaukee was second in the Eastern Conference and tied for the second-best record in the NBA. However, reports state that Griffin had already lost the locker room and the front office did not want to risk wasting a single year of their NBA Championship window.
According to those reports, former assistant coach Terry Stotts was hired by the Bucks to be the backup plan at head coach if things with Griffin went they way they ended up going. However, Stotts resigned suddenly before the season began after an altercation with Griffin during practice.
Due to Stotts’ resignation, the Bucks quietly hired Rivers as a consultant for Griffin a couple of months ago. The idea was the same as with Stotts; if things went south for Griffin, Rivers would step in as his replacement. This is why reports that the Bucks had targeted Rivers as Griffin’s replacement started to leak mere hours after the decision was made.
Even though it has been a foregone conclusion for days, the Bucks did not officially announce Rivers’ hire until late Friday night while the team was losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They also announced when he would make his season debut as Joe Prunty as been leading the team in the interim.
The Milwaukee Bucks Officially Hire Doc Rivers as Their Next Head Coach
The Bucks released an official statement announcing their formal hiring of Rivers as the franchise’s next head coach. That statement reads in part: