The Philadelphia 76ers are faced with plenty of questions following the disappointing second-round exit once again. At the forefront of the discussion is the job security of Doc Rivers, who has drawn criticism throughout his time in Philadelphia. Despite rumors of interest from the Lakers, Daryl Morey made it clear that Doc Rivers will be returning as the Head Coach of the 76ers next season.
The praise for Rivers was a common theme of Morey’s press conference. Morey gave a confident “Yes” when asked if Rivers would be returning and went on to say:
“He’s a great coach. I love working with him. I feel like I’m learning from him… I think Elton and I and (Rivers) make a great team, and we are going to see where this journey takes us.”
Rivers was at the podium alongside Morey and also spoke positively about the future of the 76ers. He discussed the continued effort to change the culture and believes there has been some success so far, even if their main goals have not yet been accomplished. Neither Morey nor Rivers were not shy about discussing the 76ers’ goal of winning a championship.
The Head Coach discussed how this thirst for a championship can be felt in the fanbase and that he and Morey share the same desire. Rivers pointed out his championship in 2008 and continued to put it, “I know how that feels, and I want to feel it again.”
While there are certainly issues to nitpick with Doc Rivers’ decision-making and overall pompous attitude, there were several reasons above his coaching for why the Philadelphia 76ers were unable to advance. The incomplete roster was put on full display in the postseason, and Joel Embiid’s body began to fall apart. Whether Rivers is capable of winning a postseason chess match in today’s modern NBA is still to be determined, but the responsibility for this year’s exit does not fall on his shoulders.
The 76ers will now head into the offseason with many important changes to make. Several players have echoed how the roster needs to get tougher, and Morey acknowledged how the second unit needs to be improved. He pointed out how much the players who are not capable on both sides of the floor struggled in the postseason and how this needs to be fixed moving forward.
Morey will surely lead a roster update this offseason to get the team closer to its championship goals. There are still sure to be plenty of changes to be braced for, but a new head coach is not one of these moves.