PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doc Rivers will return to the Philadelphia 76ers for a third season as the team’s head coach, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey confirmed Friday. Morey was asked if Rivers would return for the 2022-23 season and responded with “yes.”
“It is difficult to be here now. Still emotional. Doc met with the team in the locker room and that will stay there,” Morey said. “It was an emotional locker room. Look, we’re excited about what we can build from here. We think of many things that we can approve. That’s on me, that’s on Elton [Brand], that’s on Coach Rivers. We’re going to figure this out.”
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The Sixers were eliminated by the top-seeded Miami Heat in the second round of the NBA playoffs in six games. The season came to an end Thursday night with a 99-90 loss to the Heat at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the second straight season the Sixers were eliminated in the second round with Rivers as head coach and the fourth time in the last five seasons. In 2019-20, the Sixers were swept in the first round, resulting in the firing of Brett Brown.
“We didn’t win a championship, so that’s a goal and we didn’t meet it,” Morey said.
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The Sixers signed Rivers on October 3, 2020, to replace Brett Brown. The Sixers took first place in the Eastern Conference in Rivers’ first year as head coach, but were eliminated in seven games in the semifinals by the Atlanta Hawks.
This season, the Sixers finished 51-31 and fourth in the East while playing half the season without their second-best player, Ben Simmons, who demanded a trade and caused distractions off the court. Joel Embiid put together another MVP-caliber season, and the Sixers finally dumped Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster trade for James Harden.
In the end, Harden wasn’t enough, and Embiid’s injuries proved too difficult to overcome in the postseason.
But Morey answered one of the many questions facing the Sixers this offseason on Friday.
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They will not be looking for a new head coach.