Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Damian
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The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard make a major statement about Doc Rivers' hiring

Published January 28, 2024 at 10:58 PM

Doc Rivers, distinguished for his lengthy and successful coaching career, has taken on the demanding task of guiding a team graced with two of the NBA's top talents. The Bucks' recent convincing victory, spearheaded by a stellar 30-point, 12-rebound, and four-assist performance from Antetokounmpo, appears to herald a fruitful partnership with their newly appointed coach. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the current Finals MVP and a powerhouse in the league, voiced his respect for Rivers, acknowledging the challenges and determination required in such a role. "It's very telling," Antetokounmpo said post-game. "You can see his character. He's resilient. Accepting this role is not easy."

Antetokounmpo highlighted the significant strain that accompanies lofty expectations, noting:

"You lose, it feels like the whole world is ending. You win by five, why didn't you win by 20? It's hard. Nothing is good enough. Only a championship is good enough. We've got to that point, which is crazy. But I'm embracing it."

Yet, what truly enthuses Antetokounmpo is Rivers' expertise and assuredness in managing such stress. He underscored the value of a leader who grasps the team's ultimate aim of securing a championship and can steer the players through various obstacles.

"Having somebody that can give you that guide, that lead, it's always great to have him in your locker room. So, I'm excited that he understands that we're trying to win a championship. I think everybody in this locker room understands that," Antetokounmpo said.

From another perspective, Damian Lillard, renowned for his decisive playmaking and leadership abilities, offered his views on Doc Rivers joining the coaching team. Lillard stressed Rivers' comprehensive background in the league, encompassing roles as both player and coach, and the potential advantages this deep understanding could bring to the team.

"We all know what he brings," Lillard said. "We've heard his voice, him coaching other teams. We know he's had success. He played in this league. He went to school in this city. He's been around a long time as a coach. He's coached a lot of great players."

As the Bucks pursue their championship aspirations, the addition of Doc Rivers as their head coach is drawing significant attention from both fans and experts. The effectiveness of this tactical decision on the team's chemistry and their championship pursuit remains to be seen. The NBA scene is once again entwined in an intriguing narrative, with basketball fans keenly observing how the Bucks fare under Coach Rivers' leadership, alongside the formidable pair of Antetokounmpo and Lillard.

All Quotes per The Athletic's Eric Nehm:

Source: Clutchpoints
January 28   |   25 answers
The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard make a major statement about Doc Rivers' hiring

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