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. 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.
Who will coach the West in the 2024 NBA All-Star Game?
The Western Conference coaching spot is still up in the air, with three different coaches having a shot. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Chris Finch is currently in pole position by virtue of a tiebreaker over Mark Daigneault and the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Tyronn Lue and the Los Angeles Clippers sitting one game back.
All three teams play on Sunday. If the Timberwolves win against the Houston Rockets, it’s Finch. If they lose and the Thunder win over the Toronto Raptors, it’s Daigneault. If both the Timberwolves and the Thunder lose and the Clippers beat the Miami Heat, it’s Lue. If all three teams lose, it’s Finch.