The growing belief in NBA circles is that Doc Rivers has supplanted Mike D’Antoni as the frontrunner for the Sixers‘ open head coaching job, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).
Rivers met with 76ers co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer in Philadelphia on Wednesday evening after having talked to general manager Elton Brand in a virtual session earlier in the day, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brand also participated in Wednesday night’s meeting.
While the Sixers’ coaching search was previously believed to be down to Mike D’Antoni and Tyronn Lue – with D’Antoni considered the favorite – Rivers’ availability has shaken up the process. Philadelphia is now focusing on Rivers and D’Antoni, with a decision expected at some point this week, a source tells Wojnarowski.
Rivers is no stranger to overseeing star-studded rosters, having coached Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill in Orlando; Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen in Boston; and Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George with the Clippers. If he earns the Sixers’ head coaching job, he’d be tasked with figuring out how best to unlock the potential of the Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid duo and maximize the roster around them.
If the Sixers choose Rivers, D’Antoni and Lue would have other options as they continue to seek head coaching jobs. D’Antoni has been linked to the vacancies in New Orleans and Indiana, while Lue has reportedly drawn interest from the Pelicans, Rockets, and Clippers.