Doc Rivers Replaces Fired Bucks Coach Adrian Griffin, Including at NBA All-Star Game

*Rivers replaced Griffin after a 30-13 star by the Bucks 
*Bucks had the 2nd-Best record in the Eastern Conference
*Griffin was slated to be a coach at the All-Star Game

In his debut victory leading the Milwaukee Bucks, Doc Rivers secured his role as the coach for the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the upcoming game against the Western Conference, set to take place on February 18 in Indianapolis.

The Bucks’ remarkable win against the Dallas Mavericks, with a score of 129-117, solidified this opportunity for Rivers and his coaching team. Despite the recognition, Rivers, who has overseen only three games with Milwaukee since his appointment on January 26, feels the accolades truly belong to Adrian Griffin. 

Doc Rivers

“That is ridiculously bad. It really is,” Rivers said of getting the All-Star nod after one win. “Well, Adrian’s going to get some money, that’s for sure. And a ring. It’s one of these quirky things. I think there should be a rule somehow that someone else does it other than me.”

Doc Rivers Replaces Adrian Griffin, Who Had The 2nd-Best Record in the NBA’s Eastern Conference

Griffin had led the team to a 30-13 record before his dismissal. Rivers is planning to pass on the All-Star ring and financial bonus to Griffin. Joe Prunty also contributed during his temporary leadership, guiding the team to a 2-1 record.

Rivers humorously criticized the situation, suggesting a change in how the All-Star coaching roles are assigned. The Bucks, now with a 33-16 record, ensured the top spot in the East by the cut-off date of February 4, as Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla was ineligible this year due to his participation in the previous All-Star Game.

Rivers’s selection came as a surprise to some, including the Bucks’ players, after the team overcame a significant deficit to claim victory over Dallas, with Griffin still at the helm

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Bucks All-Star, expressed surprise at the news, and Damian Lillard, also an All-Star, found humor in the situation, noting it wasn’t a topic of discussion within the team. Antetokounmpo, after a stellar performance, highlighted the hard work of the Milwaukee assistant coaches, acknowledging their contribution to the team’s success.

Doc Rivers

Rivers will now be making his fourth appearance as an All-Star coach, with previous instances in 2008, 2011, and 2021. He joins a select group who have been appointed as All-Star coaches mid-season, a scenario last seen when Tyronn Lue took over the Cleveland Cavaliers midseason in 2015-16.

Rivers, half-jokingly, considered sending his coaching staff in his stead while he takes a break, contemplating raising this with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:

“Maybe I’ll send my staff and I’ll go on vacation,” said Rivers, who left his job as an ESPN analyst to join the Bucks. “I’m going to run that by Adam Silver. I think Adam’s a good man. I think he’ll understand.”

Griffin’s firing by the Bucks has drawn criticism online. It is rare for a coach with a 70% winning percentage to be fired this early in the NBA season, especially in his first year.

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