G lenn “Doc” Rivers enters his seventh season as head coach of the
L.A. Clippers. In his 20th season as an NBA head coach, Rivers,
the winningest head coach in franchise history, has compiled the
NBA’s 5th-best record over the course of his time in L.A. Rivers led
the Clippers to a 48-34 record and earning the eighth seed in the
Western Conference Playoffs. L.A. became the fifth team in NBA history to
win at least 45 games without an All-Star. Rivers was also named Western
Conference Coach of the Month for October and November during the
2018-19 season and was a finalist for the NBA Coach of the Year.
The 1999-2000 NBA Coach of the Year, Rivers is one of six active NBA
head coaches to win an NBA title and owns a lifetime 846-624 (.576)
regular season coaching record and a 82-79 (.509) career Playoff record.
A former Clippers point guard (1991-92), Rivers became the 16th head
coach in Clippers history (1984-Present) in June 2013 after the Boston
Celtics agreed to release him from his contract in exchange for a first round
pick in the 2015 NBA Draft as compensation. In his first season in L.A.,
Rivers led the team to the best record in franchise history (57-25, .695) and
helped guide the Clippers to the Western Conference Semifinals.
Before joining the Clippers, Rivers spent nine seasons with the Celtics,
compiling a 416-305 (.576) record and leading the Celtics to the 2007-
08 NBA Championship with an NBA-best 66-16 regular season record.
Rivers led the Celtics to six Atlantic Division titles, the 2009-10 Eastern
Conference Championship and a 59-47 (.556) Playoff record.
During the course of the 2007-08 campaign with the Celtics, he
received NBA Coach of the Month three times. He became the only
Celtics coach since the award’s inception (1982-83) to win the award
three times. He joined K.C. Jones, Jimmy Rodgers and Chris Ford as the
only Celtics head coaches to have won the award.
Before taking over the Celtics, Rivers spent just over four seasons as
the head coach of the Orlando Magic, earning Coach of the Year Honors
in his first season for leading a team that featured four undrafted starters
to a 41-41 record. Rivers guided the Magic to three straight Playoff
appearances from 2000-2003, and overall tallied a 171-168 (.506) record
in Orlando before being released on November 17, 2003.
Born on October 13, 1961, Rivers played 13 seasons in the NBA for
the Atlanta Hawks (1983-84 to 1990-91), Clippers (1991-92), New York
Knicks (1992-93 to 1993-94) and San Antonio Spurs (1994 to 1995-96).
He played for three of the game’s top coaches in Pat Riley, Larry Brown
and Mike Fratello, and holds career averages of 10.9 points, 5.7 assists
and 3.0 rebounds per game.
His teams advanced to the NBA Playoffs 10 times, where he
averaged 11.4 points, 5.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds. Rivers saw action
in 864 regular season games and 81 playoff games over the course of
Rivers averaged a double-double in 1986-87 (12.8 points per game,
10.0 assists per game) and was selected to play in the 1988 NBA All-Star
Game. He averaged a career-best 15.2 points per game in 1990-91 and
scored a career-high 37 points against Seattle on February 4, 1988. He
also shares an NBA single-game playoff record for most assists in one half
(15 vs. Boston, May 16, 1988).
48 | CLIPPERS 2019-20 YEARBOOK
Drafted after his junior season out of Marquette by the Atlanta Hawks
in the second round (31st overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft, he played the
first eight years of his career with Atlanta, setting the Hawks’ singleseason
assists record with 823 in 1986-87 and ending his stint with the
team as the franchise’s all-time assist leader with 3,866.
A product of Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, Rivers
earned the nickname “Doc” from former Marquette coach Rick Majerus
when he wore a “Dr. J” t-shirt to a summer basketball camp.
Rivers played for the United States at the 1982 World Championship
of Basketball, leading the U.S. to a silver medal and earning tournament
MVP honors after averaging a team-best 18.6 points per game. During
the summer of 2001, he served as an assistant coach for the USA Men’s
Basketball Team at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia, that
captured the Gold Medal.
Rivers earned a pre-law/political science degree from Marquette in 1985
and was honored by the Pro Basketball Writers with the 1990 J. Walter
Kennedy Basketball Citizenship Award. Following the 1999-2000 season,
Rivers was named Male Coach-of-the-Year at the Rainbow Sports Awards,
which reflect not only accomplishments in the sports industry, but also
the grace, dignity, commitment and humanity each individual exemplifies.
In June 2013, Rivers received the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award at the 2013
National Association of Black Journalists national convention. The award
is given annually to sports figures based on their contributions to their
respected careers and direct impact on the communities they served.
He has long been active in the community, serving as a member of the
All-Star Advisory Council for the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA youth basketball
support program, offering instrumental guidance to the player, coach
and parent training efforts for recreational youth basketball leagues
across the country. Rivers participated in the 2015 Special Olympics
World Games in Los Angeles, taking part in the Opening Ceremonies
and assisting during the basketball events.
H E A D C O A C H