Sixers Make Final Decision on Doc Rivers’ Future

Sixers coach Doc Rivers

Getty Sixers coach Doc Rivers

The Philadelphia 76ers will retain Doc Rivers as head coach next season, according to president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.

The Sixers lost to the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2022 playoffs in six games and many fans and pundits thought Rivers would lose his job since he hasn’t coached a team to the conference finals since he was with the Boston Celtics.

However, Morey told reporters during his exit interview that he loves working with Rivers.

Rivers is 100-54 with the Sixers in the regular season and 13-11 in the playoffs. Philadelphia lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals in seven games in Rivers’ first year at the helm. The franchise traded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond to the Brooklyn Nets this season for James Harden and was excited about Rivers, Harden and Joel Embiid leading them to the promised land.

However, the Sixers flamed out against the Heat.

Rivers Defended Himself

Rivers, who was voted as one of the 15 greatest coaches in NBA history, defended himself after the Sixers lost to the Heat. He got into a brief back-and-forth with a reporter as well.

“I don’t worry about my job,” Rivers said. “I think I do a terrific job. If you don’t, then you should write it because I worked my butt off to get this team here. When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. Again this year, the same thing. If that’s how anyone feels, write it. I’m going to feel secure about it.”

Rivers is signed through the 2024-25 season. The Sixers hired him in 2020 after firing Brett Brown, who never led the franchise past the second round. Rivers has had success with Philadelphia in the regular season. However, he hasn’t been able to lead the team to the conference finals despite having one of the best players in the NBA in Embiid, who has finished second in NBA voting two years in a row.

Sixers fans are already upset that Morey is bringing Rivers back. However, they should be angrier at Harden, who was a ghost in the second half of Game 6 against the Heat.

Harden Disappeared

Harden is one of the best scorers in NBA history. He’s a three-time scoring champion and has career averages of 24.9 points.

However, Harden was disengaged in the second half against the Heat in Game 6. He took only two shots after halftime and finished the game with 11 points, nine assists and four turnovers in 42 minutes.

“Since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden,” Embiid said after the Sixers lost Game 6. “But that’s not who he is anymore. He’s more of a playmaker. I thought, at times, he could have been, as all of us could have been, more aggressive. All of us, whether it was Tyrese [Maxey] or Tobias [Harris] or guys coming off the bench.”

Harden’s player option for next season is worth $47,366,760. He told reporters that he’ll be back with the Sixers next season. However, he did say “next question” when a reporter asked him if Rivers drew up plays for him in the second half of the Heat game.

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