Doc Rivers reached an agreement on a five-year deal to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN reported Thursday.
Rivers interviewed with 76ers general manager Elton Brand on Wednesday afternoon before meeting with the team’s ownership that night. Rivers reportedly watched Wednesday night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers with the Sixers’ brass.
Whirlwind week for Doc Rivers
It’s been a rapid turnaround for Rivers, who was dismissed as the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. That was 13 days after the Denver Nuggets overcame a 3-1 series deficit to eliminate the Clippers from the NBA playoffs.
Rivers, who turns 59 on Oct. 13, has a 943-681 record in 21 seasons as an NBA coach. The victories rank 11th all-time. He also won the 2008 NBA title with the Boston Celtics and was voted the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2000 while in charge of the Orlando Magic.
Rivers also experienced some low moments on the way to a 91-89 playoff coaching mark. He was already the only coach in NBA history to blow two 3-1 series leads, and he now has a third such failure on his resume.
The 76ers fired coach Brett Brown on Aug. 24 after seven seasons following their first-round playoff sweep by the Celtics. Brown finished his tenure in Philly with a 221-344 record, plus a 12-14 mark in the postseason.
Sixers star Joel Embiid reached out to Rivers over social media on Thursday night.
“Welcome to the city of Brotherly Love Coach @DocRivers !!!! Excited for the future and what we’re building here #PhillyForever,” Embiid wrote on Twitter.
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) October 1, 2020
Former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, 69, and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, 43. were believed to be under consideration for the head-coaching position in Philadelphia.
ESPN reported that one possibility to join Rivers’ staff is Alvin Gentry, who was dismissed as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans after five seasons.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)