Doc Rivers to Coach Team USA in 2016?
(Doc) Rivers has no regrets about leaving Marquette for the NBA draft in the spring of 1983, missing his chance to play with Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Wayman Tisdale in the summer of ’84. If Rivers had naively trusted the word of an NBA executive who promised he’d select him in the first round, only to drop into the second, the choice never haunted him. After 13 seasons as an excellent NBA guard, Rivers has used his 13 years since to develop into one of the NBA’s elite coaches. He’s blended his abilities as a leader and a tactician to create a model owners everywhere keep trying to emulate in hiring.
He’s come to London to work in the studio for NBC Sports on Olympic basketball, but his trip’s been an excuse to grab a notebook and visit Spain and Brazil and Argentina practices. He has a resumé with USA Basketball, including one job as a gold-medal assistant in the Goodwill Games. USA Basketball will be searching for a national team coach in 2016, and however the structure of Olympic basketball changes, Rivers is an ideal candidate.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich deserves the foremost consideration, but that will never happen with Jerry Colangelo running USA Basketball and Mike Krzyzewski staying on in some kind of emeritus role. It’s a shame, because Popovich has a peerless NBA and international coaching resumé. If a mutual distaste with Colangelo won’t allow Popovich the opportunity, Rivers deserves close examination.