Doc Rivers was one of the best NBA players for thirteen years before becoming Orlando's head coach in 1999.
Despite having eight new faces, the eighth-youngest team in the NBA and the loss of six-time All-Star Grant Hill to injury, Rivers led the team to a 43-39 (.524) record in 2000-01 and a berth in NBA Playoffs 2001. The Magic tied a franchise record with a nine-game winning streak from Jan. 30 to Feb. 18 and went 24-17 (.585) during the second half of the season. Rivers has an 84-80 record (.512) in his two seasons as Orlando's head coach.
In his first season, Rivers earned universal acclaim for getting the most out of his team each and every night. With the club predicted by most to finish near or at the bottom of the league and having four starters who were not drafted, Doc Rivers performed "magic" in Orlando, guiding the team to a 41-41 record, one game shy of making the playoffs. For his efforts, Rivers was named the 1999-2000 IBM NBA Coach-of-the-Year.
Doc Rivers played 13 seasons in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks (1983-84 to 1990-91), Los Angeles Clippers (1991-92), New York Knicks (1992-93 to 1993-94) and San Antonio Spurs (1994 to 1995-96). He played for three of the game's top coaches in Pat Riley, Larry Brown and Mike Fratello.
Doc Rivers, who worked as a Turner Sports NBA analyst since his July 11, 1996 retirement, averaged 10.9 ppg., 5.7 apg. and 3.0 rpg. over the course of his career. His teams advanced to the NBA Playoffs 10 times, where he averaged 11.4 ppg., 5.9 apg. and 3.3 rpg. Rivers saw action in 864 regular season games over the course of his career and 81 playoff games. He averaged a double-double in 1986-87 (12.8 ppg., 10.0 apg.), was selected to play in the 1988 NBA All-Star Game and averaged a career-best 15.2 ppg. in 1990-91. He scored a career-high 37 points against Seattle on February 4, 1988. He also shares an NBA single-game playoff record for most assists in one half (15 vs. Boston, May 16, 1988).
Rivers was selected after his junior season out of Marquette by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round (31st overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft. He played the first eight years of his career with Atlanta, setting the Hawks' single-season assists record with 823 in 1986-87. He is Atlanta's all-time leader with 3,866 assists.
Rivers played the 1991-92 season for the L.A. Clippers, before going to New York and concluding his career in San Antonio in 1995-96. In addition to his Turner Network duties, Rivers has served as a Spurs television analyst.
Rivers played for the United States at the 1982 World Championship of Basketball, leading the U.S. to a silver medal and earning tournament MVP honors after averaging a team-best 18.6 ppg.
A product of Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, Rivers earned the nickname "Doc" from former Marquette coach Rick Majerus, when he wore a "Dr. J" t-shirt to a summer basketball camp.
He earned a pre-law/political science degree from Marquette in 1985 and was honored by the Pro Basketball Writers with the 1990 J. Walter Kennedy Basketball Citizenship Award. Following the 1999-2000 season, Rivers was named Male Coach-of-the-Year at the Rainbow Sports Awards, which reflect not only accomplishments in the sports industry, but also the grace, dignity, commitment and humanity each individual exemplifies. He also is a member of the All-Star Advisory Council for the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA youth basketball support program, offering instrumental guidance to the player, coach and parent training efforts for recreational youth basketball leagues across the country