The Sixers were 10-24 in road games during the 2019-20 season, excluding contests in which they were the "away" opponent in the bubble. It was a stark contrast to their NBA-best 29-2 mark in Philadelphia, which plays into the narrative that the team struggled with its focus on the road.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand is running an NBA organization for the first time, and the team has several other high-level executives who weigh in on basketball decisions. The Sixers front office has largely had too many cooks in the kitchen since Bryan Colangelo's dismissal in June 2018 after the burner Twitter account scandal.
Rivers, who was hired just days after he parted ways with the Los Angeles Clippers, could help provide the stability that did not exist under coach Brett Brown. He helped navigate the Clippers through the Donald Sterling scandal, and despite having a lessened voice in personnel decisions since losing his front-office role in 2017, he is known as a calm, guiding hand.
The coach is also the most stable member of the Sixers organization in terms of contract status. His five-year contract means he could wind up outlasting Brand or even Joel Embiid and/or Ben Simmons if things start to go south.
"Your head coach provides the narrative. That's why coaches like Doc Rivers are so damn good and why they cost so much money," a league executive told Young.
Rivers will have something to prove after stewarding a Clippers team that imploded in the postseason despite having the most on-paper talent in 2019-20.