After a few days on the open market, Doc Rivers is now the new head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Earlier this week, an NBA head coaching market that was rich before got even more lucrative, as Doc Rivers entered the fray. Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers mutually parted ways after the team’s shocking playoff elimination at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. There was one team that was in on Rivers from the get-go, and now they have secured his services for the foreseeable future.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers has reached an agreement to become the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Can Rivers help the 76ers reach their full potential?
Initially, the 76ers set their focus on former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni as their top candidate for the job. But once Rivers hit the open market, the 76ers pivoted quickly and met with the former NBA Champion head coach on Wednesday, where both parties watched Game 1 of the NBA Finals that evening. Less than 24 hours later, Rivers and Philadelphia reached a formal agreement.
It’s interesting to note that the Rockets were interested in Rivers as well. In fact, they were set to meet with each other later this week, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Like the Clippers, the 76ers were expected to make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. However, the team regressed under then-coach Brett Brown. To make matters worse, guard Ben Simmons underwent season-ending knee surgery during the seeding games. As a result, all of the weight was placed on center Joel Embiid’s shoulders, and that simply wasn’t enough to beat the Boston Celtics, who swept Philadelphia in the first round.
Rivers is a huge get for a 76ers team trying to topple the Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. But the next step is to see how the current roster meshes with Rivers’ coaching style.