Since beginning his NBA head coaching career in 1999 with the Magic, Doc Rivers has changed teams three times, but he has yet to take a year off, having coached for a total of 21 consecutive seasons in Orlando, Boston, and Los Angeles. Speaking to reporters today after being introduced as the Sixers‘ new head coach, Rivers admitted that he entertained the idea of a vacation after parting ways with the Clippers last week.
“I was not just going to coach anybody. I was ready to take a break,” Rivers said, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). “It depended on the team that was available.”
Rivers was intrigued by the opportunity in Philadelphia, and decided to meet with the team after being contacted by general manager Elton Brand. Despite having two years left on his contract with the Clippers, Rivers ultimately wanted to take on the challenge of leading the Sixers rather than taking any time away from the game.
“For me (it) was a job that you just couldn’t turn down,” he said today, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).
Here’s more from Rivers’ introductory presser:
- Asked today about what role he’ll play in personnel decisions, Rivers said that he and Brand will “work together,” per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “That was one of the things that was so exciting about this job, to have this opportunity to work with Elton,” Rivers said. “… I think Elton and I will have a chance to form an amazing partnership together, and we’ll grow from there.”
- Rivers said he loves the pieces on the Sixers’ roster, referring to as “loaded” and downplaying concerns about positional overlap (Twitter links via Youngmisuk and Derek Bodner of The Athletic). “I don’t get lost in what position guys play,” Rivers said. “I look at how many points we score as a team. I don’t care how you score.”
- Rivers added that the duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid “clearly works when they play together,” observing that the club wins 65% of its games when those two stars are active (Twitter links via Youngmisuk and Bodner).
- According to Rivers, three teams called his agent within five hours of him leaving the Clippers (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN). Although he didn’t name the other two teams, the belief is that they were the Pelicans and Rockets.