Doc Rivers Wants to Hire Ex-Buck, 3-Time Champ to Coaching Staff: Report

Doc Rivers

Getty Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers and the Milwaukee Bucks appear to be on the prowl for some help on the sidelines. For Rivers, finding the right help means looking into bringing in a familiar face. Per NBA Insider Marc Stein, the familiar face in question is Sam Cassell.

Stein wrote in a May 15 story that Rivers wants to bring the Bucks alum as an assistant coach.

“League sources say Rivers plans to make an aggressive push to bring Cassell onto his staff in Milwaukee if the former three-time NBA ring-winner as a player does not get the Lakers’ job. Cassell is currently in his first season in Boston as part of Joe Mazzulla’s staff but has coached under Rivers in nine of his 15 seasons on NBA benches.”

Cassell has worked with Rivers both as a player and as an assistant. He played for the Boston Celtics 2008 Championship team when Rivers was their head coach. Since transitioning to being an assistant coach, Cassell has been part of Rivers’ coaching staff for many seasons.

He first joined Rivers on his coaching staff with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2014 to 2020. When Rivers got his next job with the Philadelphia 76ers, Cassell followed and stayed until 2023.

Cassell played in the NBA from 1993 to 2009. In his first two seasons, he won two titles with the Houston Rockets. He then went on to become somewhat of a journeyman before he joined the Bucks in 1999. In his four seasons with the team, Cassell helped the Bucks make their last Eastern Conference Finals run before the Giannis Antetokounmpo era.

Sam Cassell a ‘Legitimate Candidate’: Report

In Stein’s report, he explained why Cassell is seen as a real candidate for head coaching jobs.

“Cassell is a legitimate candidate to watch here, league sources say.

“He is not only represented by Klutch Sports — which is the same agency, of course, that represents Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis — but Cassell is known to have a particularly good knack in the locker room when it comes to connecting with star players.”

Stein then compared Cassell to former Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to illustrate why he deserves a shot at head coaching.

“As with Ham when the Lakers hired him, Cassell is also long overdue to get a head coaching shot. It is frankly surprising (and ridiculous) that it hasn’t happened yet.”

Cassell has been an assistant coach since 2009. Although he’s spent most of his coaching days working under Rivers, he’s also clearly been trusted by multiple teams, such as the Celtics and the Wizards.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he is among the candidates the Lakers are considering for their next head coach.

Former Bucks Assistant Hired by Hornets

Former Bucks assistant and current Celtics assistant Charles Lee has accepted a job as the Charlotte Hornets’ next head coach, as reported by Shams Charania.

Lee’s promotion could lead to Cassell taking his job in Boston as Mazzulla’s main assistant. That is if Cassell does not get hired as a head coach. However, his experience with Rivers could be enough to sway him to leave the Celtics and join the Bucks’ coaching staff.