The Philadelphia 76ers had a nightmarish run from 2013 to 17. They did not just fail to make it to the playoffs, but also remained seated at the very bottom. In 2016, they were 10-72 in the regular season while the GSW (west conf) were 73-9. Such was the level of the franchise until the turnaround came with the entry of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Joel was drafted back in 2014 but missed the initial two seasons because of foot and knee injuries. He made it into the NBA All-Rookie List even as he played only 31 games in his debut year.
On the other hand, Ben Simmons became their blessing in disguise as they drafted him in 2016. But he too missed an entire season because of injuries. Now, finally, they have found yet another solution to improve the championship-winning chances with the entry of the new head coach.
The 76ers can be the new game-changers!
The Clippers parted ways with veteran coach Doc Rivers, and the 76ers jumped on the opportunity. Just three days into the news of Doc’s removal from his last post, the 76ers interviewed him and awarded him a 5-year contract. If not for Doc Rivers, the Philadelphia based franchise were keen on signing Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets Head Coach.
A lot happened in Doc Rivers’ life in one fortnight. While he was not addressing media all this while, the first comments from him have arrived. In the latest interview, he revealed, “I am really excited about the opportunity to be joining a world-class franchise, a franchise whose legend inspired my nickname,” Rivers said, referencing Hall of Famer and Sixers great Julius “Dr. J” Erving. “This is a city that loves sports and loves their teams.”
He once wore a T-shirt of the Sixers Legend and acquired the nickname ‘Doc’ after that. Speaking about his admiration of Philadelphia, the head coach said, “It’s a city that values hard work and that is exactly what we are going to do and who we are going to be. We are ready to do good things in Philadelphia,” the former Clippers’ coach continued.”
New #Sixers coach Doc Rivers: ‘We are ready to do good things’ https://t.co/5fs69CV0to via @phillyinquirer
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) October 3, 2020
How good is Doc Rivers?
The year 2000 Coach of the Year (with Orlando Magic), Doc is born to coach. In the latest Netflix documentary, The Playbook, he had revealed how Basketball was his passion ever since childhood. The veteran coach was instrumental in Boston Celtics’ 2008 NBA Championship win against the Lakers.
Today, he has joined a team that took a 0-4 defeat in the Playoffs round 1. So, the amount of work in front of him is tremendous, but he has resources in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid at his disposal. It’ll be interesting to see how the new coach can turn the destiny of the 76ers, who last won their third ring decades ago.