On Thursday evening, the Philadelphia 76ers made the move to hire their new coach: recently fired LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
Doc Rivers didn’t have to wait long to get his next NBA job. Just days after being fired by the LA Clippers, the Philadelphia 76ers came courting and according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is done.
Rivers will take over as the next coach of the Sixers, replacing the recently fired Brett Brown. Both the Clippers and Sixers had massively disappointing playoff performances after varying degrees of underwhelming regular seasons, but it’s safe to say that Rivers will be an upgrade over Brown and may have a more authoritative voice in the locker room. That will be an asset with Ben Simmons, who Brown couldn’t even persuade to take a courtesy 3-pointer every couple of games.
A couple of the players on this roster are no strangers to Rivers. A 2018 trade deadline blockbuster sent Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the Sixers from the Clippers in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Landry Shamet. Harris and Scott still play for the Sixers.
Following Rivers’ dismissal by the Clippers, he received immediate interest from a number of teams, including the Sixers and New Orleans Pelicans. The Sixers may indeed be the best fit for Rivers, although his playoff record might not be what the organization is ideally looking for.
Rivers-led squads have often underachieved in the playoffs, in spite of his 2008 NBA championship with the Boston Celtics, leading a squad with prime Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
Maybe it’s not fair to blame Doc Rivers for a perpetually snake-bitten Chris Paul and Blake Griffin-era Clippers team that could never get over the hump, but that team’s problems in conjunction with this year’s talented team do give one some cause for concern.
If nothing else, it’s time for a fresh start for both Rivers and the Sixers organization, and he’s almost certainly better equipped to lead this team into the future than Brett Brown was.
A new chapter begins in Philadelphia, and Doc Rivers is now the man writing the book.