JJ Redick slams Doc Rivers amid disappointing start with Bucks: 'There's never accountability with that guy'

JJ Redick was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers ahead of the start of the 2013-2014 season. During that same offseason, the Clippers sent a first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics in exchange for head coach Doc Rivers.

Redick spent four seasons under Rivers’ guidance in Los Angeles. But the retired NBA guard and current television broadcaster has not been impressed with how the Milwaukee Bucks have fared over the past few weeks with his former coach at the helm.

During a recent edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” Redick directed some pointed criticism at Rivers, suggesting that the Bucks coach tends to lean on excuses in the midst of a team’s struggles.

“I’ve seen the trend for years. The trend is always making excuses,” Redick said.


JJ Redick talks with Doc Rivers

JJ Redick of the Los Angeles Clippers talks with head coach Doc Rivers during a game against the Sacramento Kings, Jan. 17, 2015, in Sacramento, California. (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Redick’s comments came shortly after Rivers acknowledged some of the unexpected difficulties he has faced since taking over the Bucks head coaching job in late January. Milwaukee has only managed to win three games since Rivers began coaching the team following Adrian Griffin’s dismissal.

“Taking a job when you’re about to go on the toughest road trip of the season is not the smartest decision,” Rivers said ahead of this past Sunday’s All-Star game. “I even told them that: ‘Can we wait ‘til All-Star break?’ You know, it would have been a lot nicer.”


Although Redick acknowledged that joining a team in midseason certainly presents a considerable number of unique challenges, he did not seem interested in giving Rivers a break.

“Doc, we get it. Taking over a team in the middle of the season is hard … just like getting traded in the middle of the season is hard for a player. We get it. But it’s always an excuse. It’s always throwing your team under the bus.”

Doc Rivers talks to the media

New Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers talks during a press conference on Jan. 27, 2024, at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Redick also wasn’t pleased with Rivers’ remarks after the Bucks dropped their last game before the All-Star break to the Memphis Grizzlies. Rivers elected to put star players Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and other key players on the court for significant minutes, while the Grizzlies did not play their starters.

“We had some guys here, we had some guys in Cabo,” Rivers said after the game in an apparent reference to the players’ effort.

“They lose to Memphis, ‘Oh, it’s his players’ fault,'” Redick said. “Memphis was playing G League guys and two-way guys.”

Redick also called out Rivers for his comments related to James Harden’s move from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Clippers.

“Then you look at his quotes over the weekend … now he wants to take credit for the James Harden trade to the Clippers working out?” Redick said. “He wants credit for that? There’s never accountability with that guy.”

Doc Rivers and JJ Redick talk during a game

Head coach Doc Rivers and JJ Redick of the Los Angeles Clippers argue a call with official James Capers during their 98-93 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on April 28, 2017. (Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Patrick Beverley, who currently plays for the Bucks, defended his coach by saying Rivers “saved” Redick’s NBA career.

“This Man Doc actually saved your career,” Beverley wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Started you when no one else wanted 2. And u retire go on TV and say that.”

Redick pushed back against Beverly’s assertion, saying another NBA team was interested in signing him at the time.

Pat my guy I had a four-year offer with player option for the same money to be a starter for a different team. FOH “saved my career,” he responded.


Rivers is one of the most decorated coaches in the NBA. He won the 2008 NBA championship and has won more than 1,000 games in his lengthy coaching career.

As the Bucks prepare to return to action after the All-Star break, the team has a solid 35-21 overall record. Milwaukee sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, with the Celtics in first and the Cavaliers in the second spot.

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