RIVERS WINS 600TH GAME AS HEAD COACH
MEMPHIS – Clippers head coach Doc Rivers would never celebrate an individual or personal achievement.
As a former point guard and one of the most successful head coaches in recent NBA history, it’s not in his DNA. So, when Rivers walked off the court after the Clippers’ 101-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday, the 600th of his career, there was not even an acknowledgement of it.
It’s December and Rivers only celebrates victories in June.
“It means I’ve been around a lot,” Rivers said of the milestone. “It means I’ve been lucky enough to coach some really good players. It really does and that’s about it. That’s not what I’m chasing.”
Rivers is chasing his second championship. He has one under his belt with the 2008 Boston Celtics, a team that contributed 66 of his 600 regular-season wins. But Rivers is eager to do it again.
Wins in the regular season, seemingly only put him better position to reach that goal.
However, 600 victories helps Rivers ascend into elite company. He is the 23rd coach in history and one of only three active coaches to reach the mark, joining Minnesota’s Rick Adelman and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich. Rick Carlisle is No. 4 on the active wins list, but is 68 behind Rivers.
He is in his 16th season as a head coach and since 2007-08 has the fourth best winning percentage in the league (.661). He has a Coach of the Year award and has only finished below .500 in two full seasons (he coached just 11 games for the Orlando Magic in 2003-04). In addition to his 600 regular-season wins, Rivers has also won 64 of the 121 Playoff games he’s coached.