Doc Rivers has been the Milwaukee Bucks' head coach for a week, but that was enough for him to become the Eastern Conference's coach in the 2024 NBA All-Star Game.
With a 129-117 comeback win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, the Bucks clinched All-Star coaching honors for Rivers and his staff. Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch will coach the Western Conference All-Stars. The All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 18 at the Indiana Pacers' Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
This will be the fourth time Rivers has coached in an All-Star Game, having also done so in 2008, 2011 and 2021.
Rivers got the job by having the best record among East teams with eligible coaches by Feb. 4. The Bucks currently sit at 32-16 and second in the conference. Joe Mazzulla, the head coach of the East-leading Boston Celtics, is not eligible for the game because he coached the team last season in the 2023 All-Star Game.
Saturday's win was actually Rivers' first win in three tries with the Bucks, which begs the question if Rivers deserves the gig and the perks that come with it.
Rivers is apparently in the camp that believes former Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin deserves credit, as NBA reporter Marc Stein reports that Rivers said he would give his All-Star ring and coaching share to Griffin, who was fired last month despite the Bucks holding a 30-13 record at the time.
Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reported that Milwaukee's new assistant coaches will not coach in the All-Star Game, instead leaving the honor to Griffin's staff.
As an extension of Doc Rivers’ All-Star Game decision, being told Milwaukee’s new assistants Dave Joerger and Rex Kalamian will also abstain from joining Bucks coaches in Indianapolis, as Adrian Griffin’s staff has earned the honor of representing the Eastern Conference.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) February 4, 2024
Finch leads Timberwolves to best record in West
Finch clinched the Western Conference honor Sunday night when the Timberwolves beat the Houston Rockets, 111-90. The win secured the best record in the West (35-15) through Feb. 4, allowing Finch to beat out Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigneault and Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue for the job.
Finch will be the first Timberwolves coach to coach the All-Star Game since Flip Saunders in 2004.