PHILADELPHIA – There's a new Doc in Philadelphia — one charged with reviving a 76ers organization that fell far short of NBA championship expectations.
The 76ers reached an agreement Thursday with Doc Rivers to become the latest coach to try and lead the Sixers to their first NBA championship since 1983, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Sixers had not formally announced the move.
Rivers takes over for Brett Brown, who was fired after the 76ers were swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Rivers was fired about two weeks after the Los Angeles Clippers wasted a 3-1 series lead and lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals.
Rivers spent seven seasons with the Clippers, making the playoffs in six of them — major success for a once-woebegone franchise. This season’s team, with the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, was expected to compete for a championship.
But losing three closeout opportunities to the Nuggets cost the Clippers a chance to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the West finals, and likely played a role in Rivers not remaining as coach.
Rivers also coached the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, winning the NBA title with the Celtics in 2008.
His formal first name Glenn. Rivers earned the Doc nickname by the late college coach Rick Majerus from wearing a T-shirt of former 76ers great “Dr. J” Julius Erving T-shirt to a Marquette basketball camp. Majerus was an assistant at Marquette when Rivers played there in the early 1980s. The nickname stuck — and long-time Sixers announcer Marc Zumoff has steadfastly refused to call Rivers by his nickname during broadcasts because of his belief Erving is the only one worthy.