76ers Rumors: Doc Rivers 'Swiftly Supplanted' Mike D'Antoni as HC Favorite

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2020

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers talks to his players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles. Walt Disney World is the NBA’s home away from home for the foreseeable future. “We’re trying to just live our life,” Rivers said. “Have our best Disney life.” (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Doc Rivers, who stepped down as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, has reportedly "swiftly supplanted" Mike D'Antoni as the favorite to fill the Philadelphia 76ers' head coaching vacancy.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the update Thursday.

Rivers' unexpected availability has shaken up the offseason coaching carousel.

He was scheduled to meet with Sixers governors Josh Harris and David Blitzer on Wednesday night after speaking with general manager Elton Brand earlier in the day, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who noted the team had been previously getting prepared to choose between D'Antoni and Tyronn Lue.

Meanwhile, Lue is emerging as the early favorite to replace Rivers with the Clippers, per Stein.

The Sixers are in the market for a new head coach after they fired Brett Brown, who'd held the position since 2013, following a first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics.

Philadelphia has faced questions about whether the tandem of point guard Ben Simmons and center Joel Embiid, who've both dealt with injury issues, can be the core of a championship squad, but Brand was quick to dismiss any trade speculation after the season.

"I'm not looking to trade Ben or Joel," Brand told reporters last month. "I'm looking to complement them better. They are 24 and 26 years old, respectively. You try to make that fit as long as you can. They want to be here, they want to be with our organization, and I see them here for a long, long time."

Instead, the 76ers will hope a coaching change and potentially other roster moves will vault them back into the title conversation next season.

Rivers guided the Boston Celtics to a championship in the 2007-08 season, but he couldn't push the Clippers to quite the same level. They failed to advance beyond the conference semifinals in his seven-year tenure, and blowing a 3-1 lead in that round this year led to his departure.

With that said, the 58-year-old Chicago native owns a 943-681 regular-season record (.581 winning percentage) across 21 seasons with the Clippers, Celtics and Orlando Magic. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year with the Magic in 1999-2000.

After leaving one pressure-packed situation in L.A., he may walk right into another one in Philly.


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