The Philadelphia 76ers moved quickly after their first round exit from this year’s playoffs in letting go of head coach Brett Brown after seven seasons at the helm, but have been patient in their coaching search.
Tyronn Lue and Mike D’Antoni were considered frontrunners for the position, but their attention shifted when the Clippers announced that Doc Rivers would be parting ways with the organization after seven seasons of his own. Reporting emerged on Wednesday that Rivers was meeting with the Sixers, with he and D’Antoni now as the top two candidates and Lue being viewed as the likely replacement for Rivers in Los Angeles.
Now, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Rivers is officially headed to Philadelphia.
After a rapid courtship and negotiation, Doc Rivers has reached agreement on a deal to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 1, 2020
The news was confirmed by Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice.
Doc Rivers will be the next head coach of the Sixers, source confirms. Initial thoughts on the hire: https://t.co/gqInO4tphI
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 1, 2020
Rivers has compiled a 943-681 record in 21 seasons as a head coach in the NBA, spanning three different teams in the Magic, Celtics, and Clippers, including the 2008 championship team in Boston. His work in Los Angeles was admirable as he built a foundation and helped guide that organization through an incredibly tumultuous time amid the Donald Sterling saga, but his tenure there was marred by playoff disappointment, winning just three playoff series and not once making it to the conference finals.
In Philadelphia, he’ll be tasked with exorcising his and the Sixers playoff demons, as they likewise have seen earlier than expected exits in the playoffs in recent years. He’ll have two dynamic star players in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but will look to crack the code of how to make this roster work, which likely will require some serious moves made by the Sixers brass. In any case, the Sixers get a tenured coach who has tons of experience with high-level teams and superstars, which seemed to be the goal for their coaching search all along.