Two days ago, the Los Angeles Clippers parted ways with head coach Doc Rivers and the Philadelphia 76ers immediately reached out. Apparently, Rivers was amenable to the team’s overtures, as he will meet with the Sixers, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The Sixers’ head coaching search is now officially a three-man race between Rivers, Mike D’Antoni, and Tyronn Lue, who met with the team yesterday. All three coaches are solid candidates, having previously won an NBA title, an NBA Coach of the Year award, or both, in Doc Rivers’ case.
People can parse the pros and cons of each candidate. In regard to Rivers, folks will bring up the fact that he is the only coach to ever blow three 3-1 series leads, including the Clippers’ recent defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. There was also the ESPN report yesterday stating that Steve Ballmer consulted with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, among other players, and nothing was said to change his mind about parting ways with Doc. You would think if either star wanted Doc to stick around, he would still be there — not exactly a glowing reference from your most recent work associates.
Nevertheless, Rivers has guided his teams to the playoffs in 12 of his last 13 years as a head coach, has a .581 winning percentage, and that 2008 title. He is highly respected as both a coach and a human being. It’s hard to imagine anyone being overly disappointed if Rivers is ultimately who Sixers management chooses to hire.
Personally, the top selling point in potentially hiring Rivers is seeing if Marc Zumoff would maintain his Glenn Rivers schtick over the course of a full season, “because there’s only one Doctor in Philadelphia.”