Accountability is a word we hear often in sports. Whether someone owns up to their mistakes or passes the buck, accountability is the word we hear thrown about in the wake of whatever action was taken. Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers has been at the center of an accountability conversation since taking over for Adrian Griffin before the All-Star break. JJ Redick called out Rivers over his lack of accountability through the years, and it didn’t take long for the likes of Patrick Beverley and Doc’s son Austin to defend him.

This entire conversation about Rivers is kind of funny. Austin and Pat Bev come to his rescue against Redick, meanwhile, Doc is doing interviews where he’s spilling all the beans, passing the buck. This is exactly what Redick was talking about. It’s always somebody else’s fault. Rivers was shown the exit from previous franchises because he was either there so long that it was time for a change (zero WCF appearances in seven years with the Clippers) or the team hadn’t progressed any further than before he arrived.

“I even brought it up to Kawhi: ‘Are you sure? I think Shai’s going to be an amazing player. It may take a year or two, but I think you’re underestimating how good Shai’s going to be.’” – Doc Rivers

Rivers is obviously sick of taking the blame for everything that’s gone wrong with his teams over the years. He’s hurling Kawhi Leonard under the bus now regarding the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trade that landed Paul George in Los Angeles. In terms of validity, some form of that conversation probably happened. This is a player’s league after all. But at this point tossing Leonard overboard to save face isn’t necessary.

Apparently, Rivers just wants to get the “truth” out and to stop being blamed for his team’s past failures. The Milwaukee situation is already off to a rough start, which is why any of this is a topic of discussion in the first place. The Bucks found themselves four games under .500 since Doc took over heading into the All-Star break. That last loss to Memphis is the one that really got folks talking.

Rivers was supposed to come in, turn things around, and get this team back on the right track. Now he’s looking to make himself seem like a sympathetic figure — saying he didn’t understand why Bucks ownership was making a change. If Doc knew why SGA got traded and was willing to drop names, he also knows why Griffin was ousted, only he can’t call out his new superstar in Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is pretty easy to figure out.

In a star-driven league, whenever a coach is fired under weird circumstances, it’s usually that star player who either called for it or allowed it to happen. As someone who played in The Association and has now coached for over two decades, Rivers knows the deal. Some have speculated that Rivers was in on swindling Griffin out of his spot, but that’s just rumor talk. If there is any validity to those claims it’ll come out at some point. Most things end up leaking eventually.

So-called “legit” sports are inching closer and closer to WWE/Pro wrestling every day, especially in this era of player podcasts. While it seems like beef on the surface, most of these dudes go way back. That doesn’t change the fact that Redick had an extremely valid point. Beverley just thinks Redick should show more “loyalty” to their former coach. No matter what Pat Bev or anyone says, Rivers has in the past and still lacks some accountability. The jury is still out this season, but he’ll likely have more excuses in May when it falls apart. 


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