The Phoenix Suns ended their search for Monty Williams’ successor, and it’s not Doc Rivers. Suns fans probably would not care as much about who actually won the job so long as it’s not Rivers. Frank Vogel did, and with that, Rivers remain unemployed and irrelevant. Rivers reportedly pulled his name from the Suns’ head coach gig, but he likely did when it only made apparent to him that Phoenix was ultimately not going to drink a poison pill by hiring him.
So to recap, the Detroit Pistons have hired Williams, the Milwaukee Bucks went with Adrian Griffin, the Philadelphia 76ers moved on from Rivers and filled their head coaching vacancy with Nick Nurse, and the Suns chose Vogel over Rivers. All eyes are now on the Toronto Raptors, who remain without a head coach after parting ways with Nurse. Steve Nash and JJ Redick are two names linked to the Raptors, while Rivers is seemingly not part of Toronto’s list. With Rivers’ future up in the air, there’s a legitimate chance that he won’t be roaming the sidelines for any team for at least the 2022-23 NBA season.
The Suns knew better than to offer Rivers the job. Given his long list of flaming out in the playoffs and choking series leads, there’s just not much of an upside for them to be used as a vehicle for Rivers’ NBA career. Rivers coached three of 13 teams in the history of the NBA that lost a series despite taking a 3-1 lead. If your team is set to play in a Game 7 and Rivers is your head coach, you’d want to have your vacation already planned out because the man is 6-10 in such scenarios.
The Suns would rather fail with Vogel than go up with a 3-2 series lead in the second round of the next playoffs, collapse, and realize later on that they had already shot themselves in the foot long before their exit by hiring Rivers.