Childhood & Early Life
Glenn Anton “Doc” Rivers was born on October 13, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois, US, to Grady and Betty Rivers. He grew up with his younger brother, Grady Rivers Jr. He became the fourth member of his extended family to have a successful career as an athlete. The others were his uncle Jim Brewer and his cousin Byron Irvin, who both played for the ‘NBA,’ and his cousin Ken Singleton, who was a baseball player in the ‘Major League.’
He grew up in Maywood, in Proviso Township, 10 miles from downtown Chicago. He spent a lot of time at the ‘Chicago Stadium,’ watching his favorite players. He later admitted that the city of Chicago was the reason for his success. He stated, “I think everything that I am is because of Chicago. My dad, mom. It’s where I grew up. It was the only city I knew.”
Glenn attended high school at ‘Proviso East’ in Maywood, and then went to college at ‘Marquette.’ That is where he got his nickname, “Doc,” because he always wore an old “Dr. J” T-shirt in honor of ‘NBA’ star Julius Erving.
He was part of the national team and represented the US in the 1982 ‘FIBA World Championship.’ The team got the silver medal. He was one of the main reasons behind his team’s success, although he missed the last shot in the final match.
He had three seasons at ‘Marquette,’ averaging 13.9 points and 4.6 assists. However, he did not ignore his education. He earned his degree in political science in 1985.
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Doc Rivers started his career when he was drafted by the ‘NBA’ in 1983 and selected by the ‘Atlanta Hawks.’ His position was point guard. He had eight seasons with the ‘Hawks.’ He remained their all-time leader in assists, with a score of 3,866.
Following this, he played as a starter for the ‘Los Angeles Clippers’ for a year, moving to the ‘New York Knicks’ from 1992 to 1994, and finished his career as a player for the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ in 1996. He retired with career averages of 10.9 points, 5.7 assists, and 3 rebounds.
In 1999, he took his career to the next level and coached the team ‘Orlando Magic’ for more than four ‘NBA’ seasons. The team was expected to finish at the bottom of its division, but he took it to a 41–41 record and even won the ‘Coach of the Year ‘award after his first year with the team, leading them to a near playoff berth.
However, in 2003, he was fired after losing 10 games in a row. Apparently, he had asked the management to fire him or leave him to do his job. In an interview on ‘ESPN,’ he critiqued their choice to “judge me on 10 games after all that I have done for four years, getting the team to the playoffs and overachieving.”
Following this, Doc worked as a commentator for the ‘NBA’ on ‘ABC’ for a year, until he was hired by the ‘Boston Celtics’ to be their head coach. However, the first years with the team were agitated, as he received a lot of criticism for his coaching style. He silenced his critics when he managed to turn things around dramatically in his third season with the team, helping them have a historical season and even defeat the ‘Los Angeles Lakers’ in the best-of-seven finals.
In 2008, the ‘Celtics’ managed an important victory against the ‘New York Knicks.’ Because the team had the best winning percentage, Doc was chosen to coach the ‘East’ for the 2008 ‘NBA All-Star Game’ in New Orleans, which was a great honor.
The stress began to take its toll on the coach, and he started to consider taking some time off to stay with his family. However, he decided to return for the 2010–2011 season. Even though people were starting to talk about his intention to retire, he negotiated a $35,000,000 extension to his contract, covering the next 5 years.
However, in 2013, Doc moved to the ‘Los Angeles Clippers,’ signing a 3-year contract after serious negotiations and also becoming their vice president of basketball operations. His first season with the team was memorable, as he led them to a franchise-record 57 wins and a division title. However, he could not quite enjoy his stint with the team after ‘TMZ’ released an audio tape that contained racist comments made by Donald Sterling, the owner of the ‘Clippers.’ The team continued to play but held a silent protest in response to the comments by leaving their shooting jerseys at center court and hiding the team logo on their warm-up shirts.
Doc continued his contract with the ‘Clippers’ and even served as their president of basketball operations until 2017. He continues to be their coach, as they agreed on a contract extension in 2018.
After the racist comments from the ‘Clippers’ team owner, Doc declared that he would only stay with the team if Donald Sterling was removed. The decision was made by Adam Silver, an ‘NBA’ commissioner, who banned Sterling for life and forced him to sell the team. The buyer was Steve Ballmer, the CEO of ‘Microsoft.’
He was dragged into another controversy in 2019, when he said that Kawhi Leonard was “the most like Jordan that we’ve seen.” This comment violated the league’s anti-tampering rule and led to the ‘Clippers’ being fined $50,000.