After Ruining Damian Lillard’s Homecoming, Doc Rivers Gets Chastised for Repeating Past Mistakes With the Bucks

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Jan 27, 2024; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Doc Rivers speaks at a press conference as he is introduced as the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Doc Rivers is getting hit left, right, and center! The Milwaukee Bucks lost the second game in a row with their new coach in Portland. The Blazers simply owned the Bucks in a 119-116 victory at home, effectively ruining Damian Lillard‘s first time at Moda Center since the trade.
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Gilbert Arenas and Shannon Sharpe got together in the Nightcap podcast to discuss the NBA news. Of course, that included Doc and the Bucks. But Gil wasn’t too happy, and he had no intention of going easy on Rivers.
Arenas blasts Doc Rivers, calling him out on his previous coaching stints
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Hearing Sharpe list out the stats from the Bucks vs Blazers seemed to make Gil’s blood boil double over time, and he just went off. He said that the Deer State’s problem with Adrian Griffin was he did not contribute to defense. “But Doc’s history is he doesn’t have defense! … Every team he went to had a great defensive team, and then over the years, they slipped under Doc. That is his history!”
He then went on to name the teams that the 2000 Coach of the Year took under his wing. But as Arenas pointed out, be it the Boston Celtics, LA Clippers, or Philadelphia 76ers, each team had excellent defensive groups. They automatically ensured the defense was top-notch. Boston had the Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.
During his time with the Clippers, the franchise brought in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. That automatically translated to a better defensive team. Moving on to Philly, they already had Joel Embiid standing tall and center. The 3x All-Star dubbed it “inherited defense.” So, in a nutshell, there is nothing notable in the history of Doc Rivers that says he is great at defense. As far as Gil is concerned, the Bucks are no better than when Griffin was coach.
On a different note, Lillard seems to have left the door wide open on a possible Portland return.
“I see a day … in a Trail Blazer uniform again,”: Lillard bares his soul out
Returning to Portland was no doubt an emotional moment for Damian Lillard. Selected No. 6 in the 2012 draft, he spent his entire career with the ‘Rose City’. He had hoped to retire a Blazer as well. But that wasn’t what fate had in store for him. Yet, Dame hasn’t completely closed the door on Portland. “When I was traded, I see a day where I’ll be in a Trail Blazer uniform again before I’m done,” he promised.
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The Lillard trade happened because Dame had expressed his desire for a ring. And the Blazers weren’t in a position to give him that. Naturally, the next course of action was to move him to a contender-level team, which ended up being the Milwaukee Bucks. Yet, that didn’t diminish Portland’s love for their beloved point guard.
Gilbert Arenas Unloads on “Worst Coach” Doc Rivers for Getting Another Job: “Who’s He Sleeping With?”
Portland gave him a warm welcome, unsurprisingly. They had prepared two tribute videos in his honor, which they played ahead of the game. One video showcased his NBA accomplishments, while the other detailed his efforts and impact on the Portland community.
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Lillard stood in the arena, accepting all the love and relishing the warmth he felt in the familiar surroundings.
Watch This Story: “Gave Me Chills”: Klay Thompson Joins Stephen Curry and Other Warriors in Relishing Estranged Teammate’s Return

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