Rockets, 76ers and Others Hustling to Hire Doc Rivers After Clippers’ Exit

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Only a few hours after the Los Angeles Clippers and Doc Rivers parted ways, several teams have already shown a keen interest in hiring the veteran coach. After seven years of service and final embarrassing post-season, the Clippers will look for new avenues in the coaching department.

Although this came as a big shock, Rivers can be quite a catch for other teams. That one team would definitely include the Houston Rockets, and here’s why.

Houston Rockets are interested in former Clippers head coach

Houston Rockets stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook celebrating
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets entered the playoff run with a lot of aggression and hope. However, the Los Angeles Lakers only need five games to eliminate them in the second round itself. With that, their coach Mike D’Antoni ended his partnership with the Rockets, and now there is a vacancy.

To fill that vacancy, the coaches the Rockets have their eyes on include Kenny Atkinson, Tyronn Lue, Sam Caswell, Jeff Van Gundy, Wes Unseld Jr., and even Stephen Silas. And now, with the news of Doc Rivers’ exit, he is also a potential candidate for the job.

The Rockets were quite smart in moving slowly with this decision because they know exactly what this comes with. The new coach will be the guide to their two stars, James Harden and Russell Westbrook in their prime and maybe beyond that as well.

Rivers may have not led the Clippers to a championship, but he surely lifted them from being the worst franchise in NBA History to becoming title favorites this season.

The reason Rivers could be perfect for the Rockets is that he can fulfill everything D’Antoni lacked in. Mike lagged in defense, and Rivers led the Boston Celtics to a championship because of their defensive prowess.

The Rockets needed more trust on their bench players and Rivers showed a lot of strength in them, maybe a little too much. But Doc has many options laid out in front of him, so the Rockets have competition.

Which other teams will they be competing with for Doc Rivers?

The Philadelphia 76ers are a rock-solid team on paper, but when it comes to performing on the court, they have major issues. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have had trouble in producing on court and Rivers could be their way to enhance their offensive production.

The Pacers consist of a very deep roster. What’s fascinating is they have a plethora of great players instead of one lethal weapon. This means the Pacers running for championship won’t come as a big surprise and Doc Rivers could be their way to get it done.

And finally, The New Orleans Pelicans. This team is one of the young guns, and they have Zion Williamson at their disposal. It may take some time for the Pelicans to reach a dominant level. They have shown immense potential on both ends of the court and Rivers could be that missing piece in the puzzle they need to get to that level faster. This leaves no doubt that Rivers won’t be unemployed for long.

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