A Surprising Shake-Up: Bucks Fire Griffin, Reportedly Hire Rivers
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The Milwaukee Bucks have made a shocking move, ending the tenure of head coach Adrian Griffin after just 43 games. What's more surprising is their reported choice of Griffin's successor - Doc Rivers. This decision has left many experts and NBA insiders scratching their heads, given Rivers' history of playoff disappointments and struggles with leading top-tier teams.
Rivers' Postseason Track Record
Rivers, who was let go by the Philadelphia 76ers at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season, has had a challenging time replicating his championship success with the Boston Celtics. His teams have been known to lose 3-1 series leads, and he holds the dubious record for most losses in Game 7s and in games where his team had the chance to clinch a playoff series. These factors cast a shadow over his potential to guide the Bucks deep into the postseason.
Questionable Coaching Style
Rivers' playoff record aside, his coaching style has also been met with criticism. There are those who feel that he puts protecting his own image ahead of team success, often blaming his players for failures rather than accepting responsibility. This has raised concerns about his capability to foster a positive team atmosphere and maintain strong relationships with his players.
Perplexing Hiring Decision
The Bucks' decision to hire Rivers is confusing, especially when considering other potential candidates. Nick Nurse, who took the Toronto Raptors to victory in the 2019 championship, was overlooked in favor of Rivers. The decision seems even more baffling given that they fired Griffin, a former assistant of Nurse, to hire Rivers - who was replaced by Nurse in Philadelphia.
Confusion Over Initial Report
The news of Rivers' hiring was first broken by CNN, an unusual source for NBA news. Other networks and top insiders could not verify the report, casting doubt on its validity. It was later revealed that the news had been pre-written and accidentally read on-air, adding to the confusion.
As the story developed, it transpired that Rivers and the Bucks had not yet reached an agreement. Both parties were still in discussions, and no official announcement had been made. This adds further mystery to the decision-making process and validity of the initial report.
Potential Impact on ESPN
The uncertainty surrounding Rivers' hiring has also raised eyebrows about his role at ESPN, where he currently serves as a color commentator. If he were to leave the network, this could result in changes to the broadcasting team and possibly affect Doris Burke's position as the lead game analyst.
The decision to bring Doc Rivers on board as the Milwaukee Bucks' head coach is, at best, questionable. His history of postseason failures and contentious coaching style cast doubt on his ability to lead the team to success. The ambiguity surrounding the initial announcement of his hiring further clouds the decision-making process. Only future games will determine if the Bucks' choice was a misstep or if Rivers can silence his critics with a deep playoff run.
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