Sixers Fans Deliver Strong Reactions to Doc Rivers Firing

Doc Rivers

Getty Head Coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers

After falling to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games, the Philadelphia 76ers have parted ways with head coach Doc Rivers, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In his three years as the Sixers’ head coach, Rivers guided them to the playoffs, including the no. 1 seed in 2021, but failed to get them any further than their previous coach Brett Brown did. Sixers fans have some strong reactions to the firing.

Eliot Shorr-Parks of cut Rivers some slack, but at the end of the day, he failed to live up to his end of the deal when the Sixers brought him on as coach.

“Doc Rivers wasn’t bad with the #Sixers. He just wasn’t special at enough big moments — and the Sixers paid him to be special,” Shorr-Parks tweeted.

Other Sixers fans weren’t surprised. Bryan Toporek of Forbes said Rivers’ firing was coming one way or the other.

“Yeah, this was inevitable,” Toporek tweeted.

However, some Sixers fans were elated to see Rivers go, as one tweeted out, “DOC RIVERS HAS BEEN FIRED RAHHHHHHHHHHH LETS GOOO,” showing multiple clips of teams and players celebrating a victory, with multiple Sixers fans showing their approval.

Doc Rivers’ Decision Could Be Linked to James Harden

Before the Sixers parted ways with Rivers, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Harden did not support Rivers, but he also would not like to play for Rivers next season.

“James Harden was not all that supportive of Doc Rivers in his press conference yesterday,” Shelburne said. “Behind the scenes, from what I’m told, that one person said it would be hard for me to see James wanting to come back and play for Doc again. This is going to be a situation where those two decisions are linked.”

Because Rivers has failed to take the Sixers further than they went before hiring him, and with Harden’s free agency coming up, Shelburne added that the Sixers’ decision with the two of them seem connected.

“As we go forward into this offseason and you have another second-round exit, you have to decide if you want to lock in your future around those two guys, and then if you’re doing that, what does that mean for Doc Rivers because the decision seems to be linked.”

Though Rivers is gone, where Harden goes this summer is up in the air.

Rivers’ Possible Replacements as Head Coach

After Wojnarowski reported Rivers’ firing, he followed it up by reporting which candidates could be Rivers’ replacement.

“The Sixers’ search for a new coach is expected to include Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel, and Monty Williams,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

Budenholzer, Nurse, and Williams were all let go of their head coaching positions with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns, respectively, after their season ended, whether it was following the play-in or the postseason.

D’Antoni has plenty of previous experience with Harden, having been his head coach with the Houston Rockets from 2016 to 2020, then became an assistant during the 2020-21 season with the Brooklyn Nets.