Doc Rivers Will Return as 76ers' Head Coach Despite Playoff Loss, Daryl Morey Says

Adam WellsMay 13, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 12: Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the second half against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on May 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Doc Rivers had good reason to sound like he wasn't concerned about his job status after the Philadelphia 76ers' season-ending loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday. 

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey gave a definitive "yes" to reporters when asked if he could guarantee Rivers would return as the team's head coach next season.

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA

Daryl Morey was asked whether he can guarantee that Doc Rivers will be back next season: "Yes."

In a press conference after Thursday's loss, Rivers was asked if he's concerned about his job status.

"I don't worry about my job," he said. "I think I do a terrific job, and if you don't, then you should write it, because I worked my butt off to get this team here. When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere, and again this year the same thing. So if that's how anyone feels, write it and I'm gonna feel secure about it."

While Philadelphia's postseason exit could have caused a change of plans, it's been expected that Rivers would return for the 2022-23 season for some time. 

B/R's Jake Fischer reported May 3, "The 76ers have maintained that Rivers and team leadership remain aligned about their future together."

Fischer also noted Rivers earns $8 million per season on a deal that runs through the 2024-25 season. The Sixers would have to eat that money and pay another head coach at the same time if they wanted to move on from the 60-year-old. 

There were rumblings that Morey could pursue Mike D'Antoni as head coach if the Sixers lost in the playoffs. Morey, D'Antoni and James Harden were key pieces in the Houston Rockets' success from 2016 to 2020. 

Philadelphia hired Rivers as head coach ahead of the 2020-21 season. He replaced Brett Brown, who was fired after the Boston Celtics swept the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs.

The 76ers were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last year in their first season under Rivers. They lost in the second round of the playoffs in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks. 

Philadelphia finished fourth in the East with a 51-31 record this season. It defeated the Toronto Raptors in the first round before losing to the Heat in the conference semifinals.