Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks hiring Doc Rivers as head coach

Rivers will take Adrian Griffin's place in Milwaukee

NBC Universal, Inc.

Doc Rivers is heading back to the NBA sidelines.

The Milwaukee Bucks are hiring Rivers as the team's next head coach, the franchise announced Friday night.

The news first broke with multiple reports on Wednesday.

The Rivers hire comes after Milwaukee fired first-year head coach Adrian Griffin just 43 games into his tenure. While the Bucks were 30-13 under Griffin, the record was marred by uninspiring performances and one of the league's worst defenses.

According to a report from The Athletic, Rivers had actually been serving as an informal consultant to Griffin at the behest of the Bucks before the coaching change was made. Rivers reportedly was the preferred choice of key stakeholders to take over the job after Griffin's firing.

This will be Rivers' fifth head-coaching gig after stops in Orlando, Boston, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Philadelphia. He was fired by the Sixers last offseason after blowing a 3-2 series lead to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, failing to get out of the second round for a third straight season.

Rivers had been working as a game analyst for ESPN since the start of this season.

Rivers is one of just 10 coaches with at least 1,000 career NBA wins, with his 1,097 victories ranking ninth all time. He guided the Celtics to a championship in 2007-08 and made it back to the Finals with Boston in 2009-2010.

But despite making the playoffs in 19 of his 24 seasons as a head coach, Rivers' postseason resume still leaves something to be desired. His teams have squandered three different 3-1 series leads and four other 3-2 series leads. He's also lost five consecutive Game 7s.

Rivers has coached a long list of great players over his coaching career, including Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Joel Embiid and James Harden. Now, he'll be tasked with getting the most out of the Giannis Antetokounmpo-Damian Lillard pairing.

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