Bucks Coach Doc Rivers Called Out by His Former Player: ‘Keep Stealing Money’

Bucks coach Doc Rivers

Getty Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers points to his team.

Matt Barnes called out Doc Rivers as the Milwaukee Bucks continued to struggle under his coaching, squandering an 11-point lead to bow down to the New York Knicks 122-109 on Sunday, April 7, at home.

“Doc keep stealing money,” Barnes commented on Gilbert Arena’s Instagram post of a video predicting the Bucks’ downfall under Rivers.

Sunday’s loss dropped the Bucks’ record to 15-17 since Rivers replaced first-time head coach Adrian Griffin midway into the season. They were 30-13 when Rivers took over.

The Bucks (47-31) are clinging to the third seed in the East with four games left in the regular season. The Knicks and Orlando Magic (both 46-32) are hot on their tails.

The Bucks will face the Magic twice in their last four games of the season.

Rivers, who coached Barnes with the Los Angeles Clippers, signed a four-year deal worth roughly $40 million, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He was fired from his previous coaching job in Philadelphia last offseason following consecutive second-round exits. The veteran coach briefly served as a TV analyst for ESPN before the Bucks hired him.

Rivers, 62, had one championship in his coaching resume when he piloted the Boston Celtics in 2008. He’s become notorious for blowing 3-1 series leads since then.

Doc Rivers Takes Blame

Rivers, however, isn’t shying from the challenge of turning the Bucks around in the first season of the Giannis AntetokounmpoDamian Lillard pairing.

“This team is too talented, in my opinion, to go through this,” Rivers told reporters after the Bucks loss to the Knicks. “No matter who’s been in and out, every team has guys out. And so I’ve got to figure that out.”

Sunday’s loss was a double whammy as they also lost Khris Middleton in the second quarter after Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo inadvertently hit him in the face. To make matters worse, Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein landed on Middleton’s back after making a basket.

“You just feel bad for him,” Rivers said of Middleton. “The guy can’t catch a break.”

It was only the fourth time in their last 29 games that Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Lillard were all available. It was short-lived.

Rivers revealed Middleton visited a dentist after the game after he had a tooth knocked out during the on-court accident.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: ‘We’re Not a Losing Team’

Antetokounmpo was frustrated after the Bucks dropped their fourth straight loss, their longest losing streak this season.

“We’re not a losing team,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “We don’t have that mentality. That’s not in us. … This is not what we do. We’ve got to be better.”

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists in his return from a one-game absence due to a left hamstring injury.

But the Knicks still overpowered them.

At one point in the second half, Antetokounmpo was swatted in back-to-back attempts by Knicks center Mitchell Robinson.

Lillard added 23 points and 6 assists but he was only 4 of 11 from the field.

Middleton had five points in only 13 minutes before exiting the game with a bloodied mouth.

The Bucks will face league-leader Boston Celtics on Tuesday, April 9. Another loss could mean a slide in the standings.



Read More