NBA: Can Doc Rivers fix the 76ers?

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 05 2020 07:28 AM

NBA: Can Doc Rivers fix the 76ers? 1
Former LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers reacts after center Ivica Zubac (not pictured) fouled out of the game against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of game three of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

NEW YORK -- Doc Rivers has been hired as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, the 22-year NBA veteran bench boss charged with uniting Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons into a winning combination.

The 76ers have not gone beyond the second round of the NBA playoffs since losing the 2001 NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.

But the Sixers hope to revive behind Rivers, a 58-year-old American who went 356-208 in the past seven seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers before parting ways with the team last Monday.

"Doc is one of the most respected and accomplished head coaches in the NBA," 76ers general manager Elton Brand said. "I believe Doc can help us unlock our full potential on the floor and further our pursuit of an NBA championship.

"I also respect and appreciate that his impact extends far beyond the basketball court as he truly embraces the platform he has to drive positive change in society."

Rivers, who played 13 seasons as an NBA guard, was the 2000 NBA Coach of the Year with Orlando in his first season as an NBA head coach. He guided the Magic through 2003 then coached Boston from 2004-2013, guiding the Celtics to the 2008 NBA crown.

In 21 seasons as an NBA head coach, Rivers is 943-681, ranking 11th on the NBA all-time wins list. His teams have reached the playoffs in 16 of 21 seasons.

"I am really excited about the opportunity to be joining a world-class franchise," Rivers said. "This is a city that loves sports and loves their teams. It's a city that values hard work and that's exactly what we are going to do and who we are going to be. We are ready to do good things in Philadelphia."

Australia's Simmons, the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year, and Cameroonian big man Embiid sparked the 76ers into the playoffs this season, but they were swept by Boston in the first round.

Embiid averaged 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game for the Sixers this season while Simmons had 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 2.1 steals a game for Philadelphia.

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