Doc Rivers and His Wife Kristen Faced a Lot of Backlash When the Couple Started Dating

Doc Rivers and his wife Kristen faced incredible amounts of racism when the couple first met in 1980.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 5 2024, Published 2:52 p.m. ET

Kristen Rivers, Doc Rivers, and their son Spencer at a game
Source: Getty Images

In November 2023, Doc Rivers sat down with CNN to take a look back at his long and storied career. From 1983 to 1996, Doc played point guard for four different NBA teams. His longest tenure was with the Atlanta Hawks, but he returned to Los Angeles Clippers as their coach during a very scandalous year for the organization. This was when racist remarks from owner Donald Sterling lead to him selling the team.

Article continues below advertisement

When looking back on that incident, which was also his first year of coaching the Clippers, Doc said he wanted to make sure he did right by his players. He also wanted the focus to stay on what Sterling did, not how the team reacted to it. This is but a small example of Doc's ability to center what counts. At the time, he and his wife Kristen Rivers were empty nesters who shared four grown children. Unfortunately, Doc couldn't keep his eye on the ball of his marriage. Let's get into it.

Article continues below advertisement

Is Doc Rivers married?

As of the time of this writing, Doc Rivers is no longer married. He and his ex-wife Kristen Rivers (nee Campion) finalized their separation in 2019, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. This ended a relationship that began in 1980 at Marquette University, reported the Orlando Sentinel. Doc played basketball for Marquette and was a freshman when he met Kristen Campion, the "daughter of a physical therapist from the Milwaukee suburbs."

Because he is Black and she is white, the new couple was on the receiving end of some pretty aggressive racist treatment. Kristen's tires had been slashed and racist statements had been written on the sidewalk in front of her parents's home in Wisconsin. "It was a long time ago, and interracial dating was not all that acceptable. It was the hot talk on campus," Doc told the outlet.

Article continues below advertisement

Naturally this was beginning to affect Doc's playing, which is why coach Hank Raymond asked to speak with him privately. Sidestepping Doc's nickname, Hank asked, "Do you love her, Glenn?" Doc said he thought he did but admitted to never being in love before. "Then the hell with everybody," said his coach. That acceptance was all the push Doc needed to shake off what was happening. He left college after his junior year because despite his best efforts, the horrific treatment continued to tear Doc apart.

Article continues below advertisement

Doc wore pink Chuck Taylor basketball shoes when he and Kristen wed in 1986 as Doc would go on to have a long career as a player in the NBA, followed by a successful career coaching. It's unclear why he and Kristen split though many have suggested it might have something to do with another woman.

Did Doc Rivers cheat on his wife?

In January 2020, The U.S. Sun spotted Doc getting cozy with a woman who was not Kristen. The young woman was cuddling up to Doc "outside a swanky private members club San Vicente Bungalows," in Los Angeles. A source told the outlet that, "Doc and Kristen have been separated for five years and had been in the process of getting a divorce for the past two years." They added that the woman pictured was a long-time girlfriend.

They also shared that Doc's new relationship was not a secret, they just weren't going public until his divorce from Kristen was finalized. By all accounts Kristen is not on social media though her children occasionally show her some love. In May 2021 Kristen's daughter Callie shouted out her mom, as well as a few others, in a touching Mother's Day Instagram post. "Happy Mother's Day to my momma and my mother-in-law Sonya Curry," wrote Callie. "i have the best examples of how it's done, and I could not be more thankful."

More from Distractify

Latest Celebrity Relationships News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.