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JJ Redick vs. Doc Rivers beef: History, timeline of the events explained


Just when the JJ Redick vs. Doc Rivers saga seemed to quiet down, Rivers finally responded to his former guard’s comments.

Rivers, who coached Redick for four seasons with the Clippers, acknowledged Redick’s aversion, which became well-known when the Bucks hired Rivers in January.

He led the Bucks to 17-19 record and No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference after the organization fired Adrian Griffin after a 30-13 start. An injury-riddled Milwaukee squad lost to the Pacers in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

With the season behind him, Rivers gave his thoughts on Redick and why he believes his former player takes such exception toward him.

The Sporting News breaks down what Rivers said and the entirety of the Reddick-Rivers beef.

MORE: JJ Redick leads candidates for Lakers head coaching position

Rivers joined The Stephen A. Smith Show to discuss Redick’s comments from months earlier, finally giving his response now that his season is over.

“JJ’s had a problem with me for a while, and that’s fine, players do,” Rivers said. “One thing when you coach, Stephen A., you can be called a player’s coach or whatever you want to be called.

“If you make decisions that a player doesn’t agree with — in JJ’s case we didn’t sign him back. With the Clippers, we stopped playing him as much because he wasn’t very effective in the playoffs.”

Rivers said players typically forgive a coach for such decisions when they realize “everything you tried to teach them or do for them was in good [faith].” He also implied that he deserves credit for helping Redick blossom.

“JJ Redick’s best numbers of his career was under one coach and you’re looking at him,” Rivers said. “I’m the one who grabbed him out of Milwaukee and decided to start him. From that point on, his career took off.”

MORE: What went wrong for the Bucks this season?

Throughout Rivers’ first month in Milwaukee, he made a number of headlines with comments regarding his hiring as well as excuses for losses.

Redick was tired of hearing the excuses

“I’ve seen the trend for years,” Redick said on ESPN’s ‘First Take.’ “The trend is always making excuses. Doc, we get it. Taking over a team in the middle of a season is hard … it’s always an excuse. It’s always throwing your team under the bus … there’s never accountability with that guy.”

After the Bucks fired Griffin, it was quickly understood that Rivers would take over as the next head coach. However, Rivers had set the expectations low before even starting.

“I’ve never [taken over a team mid-season],” Rivers said. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s going to be a challenge.”

On Feb. 15, the Bucks lost to a young and injury-riddled Memphis Grizzlies squad. Rivers said after the loss: “We had some guys here, some guys in Cabo.”

A few days later during the All-Star weekend, Rivers explained why he didn’t want to take over until after the All-Star break, citing it as a smoother transition.

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

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