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Sixers fire Doc Rivers after third consecutive second-round exit

Rivers had a 154-82 record with the Sixers.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The news

The Philadelphia 76ers have moved on from head coach Doc Rivers. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was the first to report the news, which the Sixers later confirmed with an official press release.

“Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, a future Hall of Famer, and someone I respect immensely. We’re grateful for all he did in his three seasons here and thank him for the important impact he made on our franchise," Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said in a statement. "After having the chance to reflect upon our season, we decided that certain changes are necessary to further our goals of competing for a championship.”

Rivers won 65.3% of his regular season games in three seasons with the 76ers, compiling a 154-82 regular-season record, including a 54-28 record this year. That was the most that the Sixers have had in a season since Allen Iverson led them to a 56-26 record back in 2000-01.

Rivers was brought to Philadelphia in large part to help get them past the second round, a feat that previous head coach Brett Brown failed to do. However, the Sixers lost in the second round in each of Rivers' three seasons in Philadelphia, including losses in Game 7 to both the Hawks and the Celtics, the latter of which they failed to close out after securing a three games to two lead.

Philadelphia joins a crowded list of former, and hopeful, championship contenders searching for a new head coach, with all of Milwaukee (58 wins this year, NBA champions in 2021), Phoenix (NBA Finals appearance in 2021), Philadelphia (54 wins this year), Toronto (NBA Champions in 2019) and Detroit (I got nothing here) in the market.

The shakeup among those contenders also means that the market is flush with accomplished coaches. Wojnarowski lists former championship winning coaches Nick Nurse and Frank Vogel, along with Monty Williams (made the Finals in 2021) and Mike D'Antoni (Conference Finals with the Rockets in 2018) as among the candidates that the Sixers are likely to explore. Woj also lists current 76ers assistant Sam Cassell as a possibility.

My reaction

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