The Philadelphia 76ers saw their season come to an end in the second round against the Miami Heat.
In the elimination game, James Harden failed to score a point in the second half and with Danny Green going out with an injury early in the game, the writing was on the wall for the team.
Joel Embiid played through the series with a variety of different injuries, one of which required him to bust out his famed face mask yet again. Many fans believe this was Doc Rivers’ last game coaching the Sixers as rumors have linked him to the Los Angeles Lakers opening and the team failed to get out of the second round again.
The desperation from Rivers could be felt in a telling conversation with his players where he implored them to “fight for this” late in the game. Ultimately, the Sixers lost the game and it might’ve ended Rivers’ tenure as well.
Some fans have wanted Rivers gone all season, and now they might finally get their wish in seeing him go. There are some fans who have gone as far as already naming a replacement in the event he is fired.
Fans Have a Replacement Named
Firing Rivers would mean somebody has to take over, and common names that have been floated include Mike D’Antoni and Sam Cassell, but there are some dark horses that could potentially get the job if given the opportunity.
Recently retired Villanova coach Jay Wright is a fan-favorite in Philadelphia, and Sixers superfan James Seltzer thinks he’d be a good fit.
“Fire Doc Rivers,” he said. “Hire Jay Wright.”
He’s far from alone in thinking Wright, one of the best coaches ever in the NCAA, would be a good for the Sixers. Although he retired from the college game, he’s only 60 years old so he’d have a lot of tread left on the tires if he made the jump to the pros.
All of this could end up being a moot point if Philadelphia doesn’t let go of their coach, but that won’t stop fans from calling for his head until it happens.
Some fans worry that Embiid’s injury might’ve saved his job because the team was clearly not at full strength. Embiid still has a championship window the Sixers will want to capitalize on, and he could hold a lot of sway if he says he wants Rivers to return.
There’s nothing currently that would indicate he’s doing that, but star players tend to hold a lot of power with their teams.
The Sixers have a tough offseason ahead, but they have one major hurdle out of the way and that’s James Harden. He said he will be coming back next year by picking up his player option.
What the Sixers do beyond that point remains to be seen because it’s not looking like Harden is worth a max extension anymore. He’s still very valuable for the Sixers, but he might not even be the team’s second scoring option next year.
Embiid and Harden did play well together, and there’s no doubt about that, but tying up large amounts of cap space in the two players might not be the best option.