HomeSportsNBAPhiladelphia 76ers fire Doc Rivers after early NBA playoffs exit

Philadelphia 76ers fire Doc Rivers after early NBA playoffs exit

by Dustin Schutte
doc rivers
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia 76ers are in the market for a new head coach. The team has fired Doc Rivers following a 4-3 series loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, per ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Boston defeated Philadelphia 112-88 to advance to the NBA‘s Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. The 76ers owned a 3-2 series lead before dropping the final two games.

Rivers lasted three seasons in Philadelphia, leading the team to the Eastern Conference semifinals every year. However, the Sixers never got over the hump to advance past that point.

Philadelphia improved its win total every year under Rivers. The Sixers owned a 49-23 record (72 games) in Rivers’ first season (2020-21). They then posted a 51-31 mark during the 2021-22 campaign and won 54 games this past season.

Rivers is a Hall of Fame level coach, but clearly the Sixers believed it was time to move on after failing to advance past the semifinal round of the playoffs.

Rivers’ coaching days date back to 1999, when he landed his first head coaching gig with the Orlando Magic (1999-2003). He’s also led the Celtics (2004-13) and Los Angeles Clippers (2013-20).

The three-year run in Philly was the shortest stop on Rivers’ resumé. Over the course of more than two decades on the sidelines, Rivers has won 1,860 games and owns a .590 winning percentage.

Rivers’ teams have made 19 playoff appearances and he led the Celtics to an NBA championship during the 2007-08 season. He made one more Finals run with Boston at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.

With Doc Rivers out, who do the 76ers target as next head coach?

The 76ers have wasted little time in targeting potential candidates to take over as the head coach for the 2023-24 season. Wojnarowski listed a half-dozen names that are expected to be in the mix.

Per the report, Philadelphia is expected to include Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel and Monty Williams in its search.

Cassell is the only candidate among Wojnarowski’s list that does not have head coaching experience. However, he’s been a long-time assistant to Rivers, dating back to the Clippers in 2014.

Cassell has been an assistant for the Sixers each of the past three seasons, as well.

Philadelphia is searching for its first NBA championship since the 1982-83 season. Despite putting together a strong roster, the Sixers have fallen short of reaching the NBA Finals.