The Philadelphia 76ers have fired head coach Doc Rivers this morning following another disappointing postseason exit in the Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics. Rivers’ postseason struggles have been extensively noted, however the most stunning is that he has lost the last 10 games when his team has had a chance to reach the Conference Finals.
Rivers has been the head coach of the 76ers since the 2020-21 season and as the tweet above mentions, he lost in the Conference Semifinals all three seasons he was at the helm. That is unacceptable considering the talent on this team including the newly crowned MVP, Joel Embiid. It must be said that Embiid and James Harden deserve a lot of credit for the Game 7 collapse in Boston on Sunday, but considering the total body of work, it is not overly surprising that Rivers is out of a job.
With Rivers gone, the conversation immediately shifts to who will replace him as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Adrian Wojnarowski has been informed some high-profile names are being considered.
All of the candidates, outside of Sam Cassell, have head coaching experience, and two coaches, Mike Budenholzer and Nick Nurse have won recent NBA Championships in Milwaukee and Toronto, respectively. Cassell seems to be one of the hot names in Philly, however being in the Rivers coaching system for a few years could mean not much would change if he were promoted.
In my opinion, the most exciting name, and best option from the coaches Woj listed, is Monty Williams, who was just fired as head coach of the Phoenix Suns. Williams was an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers under Brett Brown and I believe if he stayed around another year, had a realistic chance of being the head coach of the team when Brown was fired. Williams has familiarity with Josh Harris, the Sixers owner, and Embiid, who was on the team during Williams’ assistant coaching tenure.
The offseason started yesterday and the Philadelphia 76ers are already looking for a head coach. I imagine this is the first of many off-season moves that the Sixers will be making, but only time will tell. The next domino to fall will likely be James Harden’s decision on picking up his player option or not. This news today will surely affect that in one way or another.