The Philadelphia 76ers have hired Doc Rivers as their new head coach about 35 minutes after the Los Angeles Clippers just fired him. Doc Rivers’s entire tenure in Los Angeles was defined by his inability to maximize a roster consisting of two superstars. Whether it was Chris Paul and Blake Griffin or Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
And now he’s heading to Philadelphia to fail with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
But in 21 seasons, Doc has a 943-681 career win-loss record. He is 11th all time in career wins. He brought the Kevin Garnett led Boston Celtics to two NBA Finals and won one chip. Actually, I worded that incorrectly. Kevin Garnett led Doc Rivers to the Finals twice. Not the other way around. Garnett had to overcome Doc AND Paul Pierce. Incredible accomplishment.
Doc hasn’t had a losing season since 2006-07 right before Garnett arrived in Boston. Since then, he’s always had stars on his roster which is one of the reasons Philadephilia would want to hire him. I do believe there is a skill in managing multiple stars and getting the rest of the roster all on the same page together. Something he literally just failed out last season as there were reports all season about how much everyone hated each other.
Perhaps Simmons and Embiid are young enough to still eat up Doc’s nonsense. Especially considering all they’ve experienced is Brett Brown who I can say with complete confidence is a far inferior coach than Doc and should literally never be allowed to be a head coach again. At any level. Not even high school.
Doc has done a great job at maximizing the talent on his roster and helping players feel confident and tap into their potential. Every time Chris Paul was out with injury, Blake Griffin was able to step up and look like one of the best players in the league. Montrezl Harrell is about to make $18 million a year this offseason thanks to Rivers highlighting what he’s capable of.
All that being said, there is a massive problem with hiring Doc Rivers: postseason collapses.
If the Sixers wanted to continue to get bounced in the first and second rounds then Brett Brown would still be there. They hired Doc to win a title and he seems allergic to closing out and winning series.
No coach in NBA history has blown a 3-1 lead more than once. Doc Rivers has done it three times. He is addicted to that shit. Can’t get enough of blowing 3-1 leads. It’s the only thing that gets him out of bed in the morning.
Doc coached the Clippers for 7 seasons. Frank Vogel has coached the Lakers for 1 season. Frank Vogel has won more playoff series in Los Angeles than Doc has. That’s insane. Whoever the Sixers are playing against next season in the first round…in 4.
It’s important to point out how awful this Sixers front office has been. They’ve refused to acquire any guards that can run the offense in the half court or create their own shot or shoot 3’s. They let JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler walk away in free agency and doubled-down on their terrible Tobias Harris trade by signing him to a massive $180 million contract. Now they are tripling-down by hiring his old head coach as if they will suddenly unlock taller Andrew Wiggins with a headband.
This team will lose next year because GM Elton Brand and the rest of the weirdos running the Sixers front office and exclusively acquiring players 6-foot-8 and above. There is no reason why Al Horford is on this team making $27 million a year while their starting point guard is Shake fucking Milton.
Doc Rivers is not the answer in Philadelphia but if we know anything about his time in LA with his teams ending up always hating each other, it’s safe to say that if there wasn’t a beef between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid then there 1000% will be by the time Doc inevitable gets fired in a couple years.