Doc Rivers to return as Philadelphia 76ers coach, President Daryl Morey says

CAMDEN, NJ – Philadelphia 76ers basketball president Daryl Morey has said coach Doc Rivers will be back next season for the third year with a permit.

“I think he’s a good coach,” Morey said as he left Friday after the Sixers were eliminated last night from their home ground by Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. “I love working with him. I feel like I’m learning from him. I think [general manager] Elton [Brand] and he and I are making a great team, and we’ll see where this trip takes us.

“But we feel very good about it, and it will be when we have a good chance of winning the title.”

This has been a goal every year for the past two years in Philadelphia, ever since Morey arrived from the Houston Rockets and Rivers from the LA Clippers: to take this team to a level it has never been before. The 76ers have not made it to the second round of the playoffs – having lost four in five years – since reaching the NBA Finals in 2001.

The 76ers have not won an NBA tournament since 1983.

Morey reiterated that goal when he sold Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and James Harden’s first two picks in the current blockbuster partnership at the time of the trade.

On Friday, Morey reiterated that the 76ers are looking forward to using the season to find ways to “open” Harden, who was the toughest player in the playoffs (18.6 points, 8.6 assists), and clean up the mess alongside superstar center Joel Embiid.

Asked several times directly whether this meant that Harden had plenty of room to reach or if fans should come to lower their expectations for the NBA MVP to progress, Morey danced around the question without answering it.

Instead, Morey said he expects Rivers and his staff to find ways to use Harden.

“Look. He’s a very talented player,” said Morey. “Like Joel, like Tobias [Harris]. And I’m glad that Doc and his staff have had a whole season working with the players and making the best list of plans we will ever have. … Having it all together in February makes it hard to try to figure out how … ‘unlocking’ different players ’skills and how they can work together.

“We all know he’s a very talented player, and we’ll find out how we can use him.”

Morey echoed Harden’s sentiments, saying that while trying to figure out what to do with the players who select this summer, he will return to Philadelphia next season.

“That’s the plan, I’ll get him back,” Morey said. “This has been a process since the start of the trade. Obviously, we have to work with its representatives and this will be among us to find out how it works.”

However, it was a nightmare – as one might expect from a team that came out of the playoffs the way it did, with a double loss directly to the Heat.

“Well, we’re sick,” Morey said. “We’re here because we have great ambitions. I know our fans do the same.. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we do this. So it’s hard to be here right now. They’re still concerned.

“[But] behold, we are well pleased with what we can build from here. We think a lot of things we can fix and it is just me, what is happening [Brand], and on Coach Rivers. Let’s consider this. But we see if there is more to build. “

Although Philadelphia has a solid foundation to build on, thanks to the presence of Embiid, there is still much work to be done. Miami star Jimmy Butler was able to get what he wanted against the 76ers safely in the series, and round defense was a constant problem throughout the season. Depth was also a problem.

Morey said security would be important, with Rivers repeating Embiid’s statement that the team needed courage to move forward.

“Well, I think that’s something our players can grow,” said Morey, referring to the lack of mental energy being a common topic in discussions with players. I mean, going through the loss and the way you react to it and the way you see yourself in the mirror. I think we should all look in the mirror and say, ‘How can everyone be good?’ … And this also happens to me personally. “

In the end, what the 76ers have done in the past two seasons is no better than what they did in the previous three in terms of progress in the postseason. But progress in the playoffs is not an easy task, said Rivers, and it needs to be learned from the organization to do this.

“Because winning is tough,” Rivers said. “You don’t show up and you just say, ‘Okay, guys. We’re going.’ It’s hard. We’re not the only organization. It’s hard to keep going. We were lucky last year, we didn’t. This year was tough. you can do it, and then go back and keep working until you pass the hill.

“Milwaukee, you look at them, it took two or three years to cross the mountain. That’s how it works. It’s not guaranteed for anyone.”


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