Milwaukee Bucks: Doc Rivers Gets Brutally Honest on ‘Inherent Disappointment’ of Failing to Win a Championship

When the Milwaukee Bucks decided to bring in Doc Rivers as Adrian Griffin’s replacement, there was a solitary goal in their minds. This was to win an NBA championship in 2024, and at that point, the front office believed that Rivers was the right man for the job.

Feb 23, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers speaks to the media prior to the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 23, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers speaks to the media prior to the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers and the Bucks obviously failed to achieve this lofty objective this season. Now, the tenured shot-caller has spoken openly about Milwaukee’s championship-or-bust mentality and why the Bucks were ultimately unable to reach their goals this past season.

Milwaukee Bucks News: Doc Rivers Points to Injuries as Culprit Behind Disappointing Campaign

Milwaukee Bucks, Doc RiversMar 24, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Speaking to the press in last week’s exit interview, Rivers acknowledged that anything less than a championship was indeed considered a failure for the Bucks. The 62-year-old was asked about dealing with the “inherent disappointment” of failing to reach their objectives, which prompted a brutally honest response from Rivers:

“When you put yourself in a category of you want to win a championship, then … there’s either a happy landing or there’s a plane crash. There’s no in-between,” he said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Obviously with the injuries, there’s nothing you can do about that. We were not gonna win with our injuries. But that still doesn’t mean you’re not just as disappointed, you know, because you are. You don’t have a lot of opportunities to win titles. You just don’t. There’s players and coaches who go through their whole career and never have an opportunity. This one, because of injury, was taken away from us more than we lost it. Next year, we hope to be healthy and we can go after it. But, still disappointed.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Playoffs, NBA InjuryApr 2, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks on during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t sound like Coach Doc is making excuses here, but he has highlighted the significant role injuries played in the team’s ultimate downfall. Can you really blame him? After all, not having your best player available for an entire series is a major disadvantage that just cannot be ignored.
Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, NBA PlayoffsMar 12, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers looks on during the National Anthem at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
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