Glenn “Doc” Rivers joined a handful of Black NBA head coaches to lead his team to the championship 10 years ago with the Boston Celtics. He joined the likes of Bill Russell, Al Attles, Lenny Wilkens, K.C. Jones, and more recently, Tyronn Lue, with the win.
Rivers, 56, and the current head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, was an All-Star player with the Atlanta Hawks with stints with the Clippers, New York Knicks. He ended his playing career with the San Antonio Spurs. He began coaching in 1999 with the Orlando Magic, winning Coach of the Year in 2000. In 2004, Rivers joined the Boston Celtics and helped guide a team that missed the playoffs twice before winning it all in 2008.
With a roster boasting the likes of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and others, the Celtics took out their longtime rivals the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Oddly enough, Rivers didn’t partake of any of the victory celebrations, electing instead to shop for groceries that night, a decision he later said he regrets. In Rivers’ mind, he skipped the parties because he expected the squad to return to several more such occasions, which did not happen.
Bill Russell, who many say is the greatest Celtics player to ever live, became the first Black head coach to win an NBA championship in 1968.
In 2016, Lue led LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to a win over the Golden State Warriors, becoming just the sixth Black head coach to do so.
Rivers’ son, Austin, plays for the Clippers.
Share your email below to receive our daily newsletter!