The Philadelphia 76ers will stand by coach Doc Rivers for at least one more season. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey said Friday that Rivers will be the team’s coach for the 2022-23 NBA season.
Morey’s statement comes a day after the 76ers were prematurely eliminated from the postseason. The 76ers dropped Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat, 99-90. With the loss, the 76ers were eliminated from the postseason.
That’s been the team’s modus operandi the last couple seasons. The 76ers have entered the past couple years as title contenders, only to prematurely lose in the postseason.
Despite Joel Embiid playing at an MVP level, the 76ers have not reached the NBA finals with him. The team has played in the conference semifinals multiple times, but has not moved past that round.
The 76ers’ 2021-22 NBA season got off to a rocky start, as guard Ben Simmons demanded a trade during the offseason. Simmons eventually reported to camp, but did not play in games due to a back injury and Simmons’ mental health.
Simmons was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal for James Harden. The deal gave the 76ers another star to pair with Embiid, who averaged a career-high 30.6 points per game. With Embiid and Harden, the 76ers were going to be a tough playoff matchup.
The Heat proved too much for the pair — and the rest of the 76ers. Embiid went 7-of-24 in Game 6, scoring 20 points. Harden scored 11 points. He took just nine shots during the game and did not score a point in the second half.
Doc Rivers criticized for playoff failures
Premature playoff exits are nothing new for Rivers. He led the Boston Celtics to a title in 2008, but has been a part of some bad postseason collapses over the years. Rivers has lost three playoff series in which his team led 3-1. Prior to getting eliminated Thursday, Rivers defended those collapses.
Following Thursday’s loss, Rivers was asked about his job security after another disappointing playoff exit. He said he believes he should stick around for a third season with the 76ers.
Morey said he loves working with Rivers and believes the 76ers can win a title with Rivers as their coach.