Doc Rivers: A Historic Look At His Coaching Career
Doc Rivers is one of the most legendary and successful coaches in NBA history. He is the only coach in league history to lead three different teams to the Conference Finals and is the only active coach to lead two franchises to the NBA Finals. His overall record as a head coach stands at 1,078–830, making him the eighth-winningest coach in league history. But the one thing that has eluded him during his storied career is a championship title. So did Doc Rivers win a championship as a coach?
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Early Career: Starting Out With The Magic
Rivers began his coaching career in 1999 with the Orlando Magic. He inherited a team that had failed to make the playoffs the previous year, but quickly changed that with his first season at the helm. Rivers led the Magic to a 41–41 record and a berth in the playoffs, the first of nine consecutive trips to the postseason for the franchise. Though the Magic never advanced past the first round of the playoffs during his four-year tenure, Rivers was able to develop a young core of players that included Tracy McGrady, Mike Miller, and Andrew DeClercq.
Turning The Celtics Into A Dynasty
Rivers’ success with the Magic earned him a job with the Boston Celtics in 2004. He inherited a roster that included Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker, and the team finished with a record of 45–37 in Rivers’ first year. The following season, the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, and Rivers was able to bring the franchise its first championship in 22 years. The Celtics went on to win two more championships during Rivers’ tenure, and he also led them to the Finals in 2010.
The Clippers Years
In 2013, Rivers was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal that sent DeAndre Jordan, Willie Green, and a first-round pick to Boston. Rivers took over a team that had only made the playoffs once in the previous 15 years, but he quickly turned them into a contender. He led the Clippers to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, and the team reached the Conference Finals in 2015 and 2020.
Did Doc Rivers Win A Championship As A Coach?
Despite all of his success, Rivers has yet to win a championship as a head coach. He led the Celtics to three Finals appearances and the Clippers to two, but each time they were unable to finish off their championship run.
Closing In On A Title
Despite not winning a championship as a coach, Rivers has come close. The Celtics were one win away from a title in 2008 and the Clippers had a 3-2 lead in the 2020 Western Conference Finals before losing the series to the Denver Nuggets.
A Hall Of Fame Career
Rivers’ long and successful career as a coach has earned him a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame. He has been named Coach of the Year twice and is the only active coach to lead two different teams to the NBA Finals. He has also been named to the NBA’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s and 2010s.
Legacy Of Leadership
Rivers’ biggest accomplishment as a coach has been his ability to develop winning teams and cultivate successful players. He has been credited with the development of some of the best players in the NBA, such as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin. He has also been praised for his leadership and ability to bring teams together in tough times.
The Future Of Doc Rivers
Rivers is still actively coaching, and he will look to continue his success with the Philadelphia 76ers. He has already led the team to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons, and the team looks poised to make a deep run in 2021. While a championship is still eluding Rivers, there is no doubt that he is still capable of leading a team to a title.
Despite not winning a championship as a coach, Doc Rivers has had an illustrious and successful career in the NBA. He has been named to the Basketball Hall of Fame and is the only active coach to lead two different teams to the NBA Finals. He has also been praised for his leadership and ability to develop winning teams. While a championship title is still eluding him, Rivers will look to continue his success with the 76ers in 2021.
Keywords: Doc Rivers, NBA, Coach, Championship, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers