After another 3-2 series collapse by Doc Rivers, he was fired earlier this week by the 76ers. Rivers was the head coach for three seasons and made the East Semi-finals all three seasons. However, the Sixers were not able to get over the hump and failed to reach the Conference Finals. League MVP Joel Embiid was shocked about the change in head coach.
Not only are the Sixers now searching for a new head coach, but they may lose one of their superstars this offseason. NBA insiders reported yesterday that 10-time all-star James Harden will likely decline a $35.6 million player option for next season. Harden led the league in assists this season and will be hard to replace if he does leave.
Firing Doc Rivers was likely the right move by Philadelphia, but Joel Embiid was not happy with the decision. Embbid has stayed quiet about these kinds of issues in the past, but he clearly had a different relationship with Rivers.
Daryl Morey said Joel Embiid was “shocked” with the Doc Rivers firing:
“He was very close with coach Rivers, and, yeah, he was shocked about the change.”
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Who is going to replace Doc Rivers as the head coach of the 76ers for next season?
Yesterday, ESPN’s Steven A. Smith reported on how Joel Embiid was shocked that Doc Rivers was fired. In the past, Embiid did not speak his mind when the Sixers fired head coach Brent Brown. He also did not speak his mind when the team kept Tobias Harris instead of Jimmy Butler. Superstars usually have a small say in these kinds of decisions with the front office.
Embiid was very hands-off with these situations in the past, something he may need to change moving forward. Philadelphia’s GM Daryl Morey had this to say about Embiid having a strong relationship with Doc Rivers.
“He was very close with coach Rivers and, yeah, he was shocked about the change. It’s my job to help convince him that the new coach is someone that he’ll have a great relationship with as well.”- Daryl Morey
The Philadelphia 76ers have med the Eastern Conference Semi-finals in five of the last six postseasons. Doc Rivers took the Sixers there three straight years in a row but never advanced further. Head coaching candidates for the Sixers next season are Sam Cassell, Monty Williams, and Nick Nurse.