Pompey on Doc Rivers: 76ers job was “his to lose”

Doc Rivers, unemployed for three days, signed a five-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 02, 2020 - 10:34 am
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Well, that didn’t take long. Three days, to be exact.

Doc Rivers, who parted ways with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, was hired by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Rivers signed a five-year deal with the Sixers, this after going 356-208 (.631) in seven seasons in L.A.

“Once he boarded that plane on Wednesday, you kind of figured it was his job to lose,” Philadelphia Inquirer 76ers writer Keith Pompey said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The Sixers like going after people with big names. Doc has a huge reputation around the league, and I have a feeling he would win over the ownership, he would win over Elton Brand, and the expectation at that point was he was going to become the coach.”

Pompey, however, did not think Rivers would want to come to Philadelphia. He thought Rivers would want to take a year off and not deal with the headache of coaching a team that has underperformed the last few seasons.

“You have Ben Simmons, you have Joel Embiid, but this was a team that really underachieved,” Pompey said. “It’s a good team, and he’s a good coach, but they underachieved. It’s going to be a lot of work put in. I just thought maybe Doc would try to sit back, relax and see what comes open next year.”

The Sixers reached the conference semifinals in 2018 and 2019 but lost in the first round this season. They have not reached the conference finals – or the NBA Finals – since Allen Iverson’s MVP season in 2001.