Finally official: Milwaukee Bucks hire Doc Rivers to be their next head coach

After dismissing Adrian Griffin, the Milwaukee Bucks acted fast, naming Doc Rivers their next head coach.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Bucks shocked the world by parting ways with Adrian Griffin 43 games into his tenure. Even though the Bucks named assistant Joe Puntry as the interim head coach, the team was going to begin a search for a proven head coach to help the Bucks make another run to the NBA Finals.

Not even 24 hours later, the franchise is hiring ESPN analyst and long-time NBA head coach Doc Rivers to serve as the heir to Griffin’s short-lived throne.

Following the battle of the boroughs between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks on TNT, the postgame crew noted that Rivers has accepted the Bucks vacant head coaching position, per CNN Sports.

There was some confusion about whether that report was accurate but it was confirmed by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday afternoon.

Milwaukee Bucks hiring Doc Rivers to be head coach

Rivers had recently been working with the Bucks as an “informal consultant to Griffin,” per Shams Charania, Sam Amick, and Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Earlier yesterday, Charania reported that Rivers was viewed as a top candidate for the position and was already negotiating with Milwaukee. Now, he and the Bucks have come to terms on a pact that makes him the team’s next head coach.

Before taking his talents to the broadcasting booth as a member of ESPN and ABC’s top NBA broadcast group, Rivers spent 24 seasons as an NBA head coach for the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and most recently, the Philadelphia 76ers.

One of the most successful coaches of all time, Rivers currently ranks ninth in NBA history for most wins by a head coach (1,097), trailing Larry Brown by a single game for eighth. He guided the Boston Celtics to an NBA Championship in 2007-08.

From 2020-23, Rivers’ last stint as a head coach, the 76ers had no less than 49 wins in each season - and three consecutive playoff appearances and trips to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Now, he will leave his post at ESPN and ABC to return to the sidelines with hopes of leading the Bucks to the promised land following their midseason coaching change. 

Milwaukee hired Griffin to be their head coach in June but quickly decided to shift gears after several veterans, including two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, “lost faith” in Griffin. 

Sitting at 30-13, the Bucks are in second place in the East with legitimate championship aspirations. Rivers will take over a ready-made roster led by Antetokounmpo and superstar point guard Damian Lillard.

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