Following their playoff embarrassment, the LA Clippers sacked long-time coach Doc Rivers. Many were shocked and thought he would take a break. But within a week, he was named as the new Head Coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
His son Austin Rivers recently spoke about this situation. He also spoke about why Doc was so enamored with the Philly job.
“They were a bounce roll away, two years ago, from going into the Finals,” the Rockets guard said. “He’s got that team now. There’s no Jimmy Butler, but we have two young stars.
“The East is not a West, which is like a gauntlet. The last time he was in the East, he did well. He won a championship. He likes being back there. He’s closer to home.”
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Doc Rivers previous job in the East
Prior to his Clippers job, Rivers was the coach of the Boston Celtics. In his nine seasons as Head Coach, he took the team to 2 finals appearances and 1 NBA championship. While that could be a success for some teams, the team Rivers had at his disposal had a lot of quality to win just a single ring.
But that was the first ring the Celtics won since 1986, so it was seen as a success. Then all of a sudden, he left the Celtics when the Clippers came calling. So in 2013, he left Boston with a 416-305 record, and since then he has not come close to a ring.
Can he help the Philadelphia 76ers turn over a new leaf?
Just like him, the 76ers were also looking for a fresh change. They recently fired Brett Brown, who was in charge since 2013 and needed someone to stabilize their project.
They also needed someone who would help their stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid fit in a system that complimented each other.
So Rivers’ primary task will be to bring in a new system and gradually help the 76ers push for a ring. The 76ers have had Embiid and Simmons play together for 3 seasons now, and they still haven’t found out how to get the best out of both.
If Rivers can do that, their path to a title will get much easier.
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