Milwaukee Bucks Fire HC Adrian Griffin Despite 30-13 Record, Looking to Hire Big-Name Replacement

Milwaukee Bucks Fire HC Adrian Griffin Despite 30-13 Record, Looking to Hire Big-Name Replacement

One day after the Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Adrian Griffin, a new report says Doc Rivers will replace Griffin.

A report from CNN, citing a source it did not name, said the deal, which had been the subject of speculation throughout Tuesday, was done.

That’s not how Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes saw things. He posted on X early Wednesday that the deal was still in process.

“Milwaukee Bucks and Doc Rivers continue to work towards a deal that will make him the franchise’s next head coach, but there is no agreement in place as of now, league sources tell @NBAonTNT @BleacherReport,” he posted.

Although the Bucks are tied for the second-best record in the NBA at 30-13, Griffin was fired 43 games into his first year.

An analysis of Griffin’s departure posted on The Athletic indicated that the team’s management wanted more.

The report said the decision to give Griffin the ax came after “months of underwhelming play with internal concerns growing about the severe decline of their once-elite defense, the flawed use of newcomer Damian Lillard alongside franchise centerpiece Giannis Antetokounmpo and a widespread fear that this group, which was widely expected to contend for a title, was likely to fall short if Milwaukee stood pat.”

“After the In-Season Tournament in December, when the Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas and the internal skepticism grew regarding Griffin’s ability to lead, there were strong signs that a change was coming,” the report said.

The report said Rivers, who is an ESPN analyst, had been serving as an informal adviser to Griffin prior to Griffin being fired.

Rivers, 62, last coached for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2022-2023 season. Under his leadership, the team reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for three years but got no further, according to CNN.

Rivers has been head coach of the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics. He won an NBA championship in 2008 with the Celtics.

Although as of Wednesday morning there was no initial announcement of Rivers joining the Bucks,  During TNT’s “Inside the NBA” Tuesday night, co-host Shaquille O’Neal said he was “happy for Doc.”

“He does have championship experience. He does have experience with dealing with large-name individuals, superstars,” O’Neal said. “For so long, he’s just been surviving off that one championship so I would like to see him get another one.”

Bucks General Manager Jon Horst said firing Griffin was a “difficult decision to make during the season.”

The Athletic said former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson could be considered for the job if a deal with Rivers falls apart.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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