Doc Rivers, Nick Sirianni keep forging their beautiful Eagles-Sixers relationship

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 27: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni during the National Football League preseason game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 27, 2021 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

The lovefest between Eagles head coach, Nick Sirianni, and Sixers head coach, Doc Rivers, has been a beautiful flower to watch blossom all year. Let that analogy sink in for a moment: roots growing under the soil, coming through the ground, blooming into something special. You get the picture.

Nick Sirianni painted it for everyone back in 2021 when the Philadelphia Eagles hit a rough patch. The so-called flower speech struck a chord with Rivers at the time who understood what the football coach was trying to instill in his troops. Media be damned.

“I said it last year when he made the comment,” Rivers said, “and everyone was trying to figure out what flowers and growing grass and all that was, and I made the comment ‘Man, he’s right. He’s on to something.’”

Then, Rivers put his money where his mouth was by predicting the Eagles would appear in Super Bowl LVII. Fresh off stinging back-to-back losses, which almost cost them the NFC East crown, the Sixers coach made a bold prediction: “Relax. You’re going to be in the Super Bowl. That’s a guarantee.”

Doc Rivers was right as rain, of course. And now Nick Sirianni has returned the favor by loosely predicting an appearance in the NBA Finals for the Sixers, the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with six games left in the regular season. In fact, Sirianni went on record with a request. He wants Rivers to bring the Sixers over to the Eagles’ practice facility for a shootaround on an off-day.

“I want to get a hold of Doc before, well before a game, and maybe bring them over and shoot a little bit with them,” Sirianni told reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. “And they need to know, too, that I’m the best shooter on the team, on the coaching staff. I’m looking forward to a playoff basketball game or something like that, that we’ll all go to. Doc said that we were going to get to the Super Bowl, so maybe we go see them in the NBA Finals. That’s what I’ll say.”

Well, Nick Sirianni’s appeal for a shooting session got back to the ears of Rivers. He’s in. According to my sources, Rivers would welcome the opportunity to make it happen if their schedules align. They’ll need to figure out the logistics — Rivers wanted to know if they should invite TV cameras or not — and get something on the books, perhaps during the stretch between the end of the regular season and NBA play-in tournament (April 9-15). The Sixers will be idle since their playoff spot is locked in. Get it done, gents!

Doc Rivers, Nick Sirianni Forging Special Relationship

Rivers and Sirianni have been building their relationship up over the past two years, perhaps due to similar coaching philosophies. Especially when it comes to handling egos in the locker room. The two spoke specifically about assigning roles to players back in November. And how to make sure they stick.

“He’s fantastic,” Rivers said of Nick Sirianni, via NBC Sports’ John Clark. “He seeks stuff from everywhere and I’m really impressed with that.”

Nick Sirianni added: “I know Doc Rivers used to do so say this a lot: Some guys are just going to have to get rebounds, and then if you got a chance to put it in, you got to take advantage of that opportunity to put that thing in. But we’re going to design plays to run through boom, boom, boom, right? And that’s what we’re talking about with roles.”

Doc Rivers admitted the two text back and forth, bonded forever by Nick Sirianni’s infamous flower speech, and they share a genuine passion for bringing people together. Expect these two fast friends to remain sounding boards for each other, hopefully, while racking up multiple championships in Philly.

“It’s growing,” Rivers said of their relationship. “It’s really good.”

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire