May 17, 2023 - Sports

Doc Rivers leaves the arena

Former Sixers head coach Doc Rivers.

Thanks for the memories, Doc Rivers. Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty

What's up, Doc?

Driving the news: Many Sixers fans were asking the same question after the team's ugly Game 7 exit against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Catchup quick: Rivers posted a winning record in three seasons leading the Sixers and is generally regarded as one of the top coaches in the NBA.

Yes, but: He was doomed by his penchant for losing in playoff closeout games, where he's just 17-33.

Zoom in: The Sixers' dynamic tandem of MVP Joel Embiid and James Harden helped seal Rivers' fate, both of whom had dismal performances in the final game of the team’s season.

  • They've now failed to make it out of the second round of the playoffs in five of the last six seasons.

What's next: The Inquirer's Sixers insider Gina Mizell compiled a short list of potential replacements for Rivers.

  • They include fired Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams, former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, and Sam Cassell, former NBA point guard and current Sixers assistant coach.

What they’re saying: "After having the chance to reflect upon our season, we decided that certain changes are necessary to further our goals of competing for a championship," Daryl Morey, the Sixers’ president of basketball operations, said in a released statement.

💭 Isaac's thought bubble: We're already aware that Cassell has some big you-know-what's, but do the Sixers have the gumption to hire him before he's potentially lured away by another team?

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