After being let go by the team, former 76ers coach Doc Rivers makes a message to the crowd.

In Philadelphia Doc Rivers was fired as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, according to the franchise.

The Philadelphia 76ers were ousted from the Eastern Conference playoffs for the third consecutive year after falling to the Boston Celtics 112-88 in Game 7 on Sunday. According to sources who spoke with ESPN, Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel, and Monty Williams are all likely to be involved in the hunt for a new coach.

Rivers addressed 76ers supporters on Instagram after being fired with the following message: “I truly admire your passion to the city and its teams – never lose that. I wanted Philadelphia to win another title just as much as you did. I appreciate the chance you gave me to guide, educate, and fall in love with this wonderful city.

Rivers is one of just five NBA head coaches to have a winning record for at least 16 straight seasons. During that time, he has only won one championship, and it was with the Celtics in the inaugural season of the streak.

In his three seasons, Rivers produced a 154-82 (.653) record, including 54 victories in 2022–23, the highest for the team since 2000–01. According to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, the Sixers were one of three teams in the top 10 in terms of both offensive and defensive efficiency.

According to 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, “Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, a future Hall of Famer, and someone I respect immensely.” “We appreciate all he accomplished during his three seasons with us and thank him for the significant contribution he made to our team. We came to the conclusion that certain modifications are required to achieve our objectives of contending for a title after having the time to consider our season.

Philadelphia is one of several clubs looking for a head coach, along with the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, and Detroit Pistons.

Rivers, who completed his 16th consecutive winning campaign as a head coach, suffered his 10th consecutive Game 7 defeat, including five straight. The loss against the Celtics was Rivers’ tenth consecutive setback with a chance to advance to the conference finals.

Now, as Philadelphia enters the summer, it must deal with James Harden’s upcoming free agency as well as finding a replacement for Rivers.

Harden was questioned about his connection with Rivers and if he thought the coach should stay for a fourth season following Sunday’s Game 7 defeat in Boston.
Harden responded by saying just, “Our relationship is OK.”

After accepting a price cut last summer to assist Philadelphia in signing former Rockets teammates P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, Harden now has a player option for the next season for $35.6 million.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, if Harden chooses to opt out of his contract, he will be able to negotiate a four-year, $202 million contract with another team or a four-year, $210 million contract to stay in Philadelphia. Despite owning Harden’s Bird rights, the 76ers are unable to sign him for a fifth season due to the over-38 restriction in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

Philadelphia won’t have enough cap room to replace Harden if he leaves in free agency. The 76ers will instead be given the full midlevel exception, worth little over $12 million, to try to bolster their lineup.

After a difficult 13 months with the Brooklyn Nets, Harden was traded to Philadelphia in a big deal in February 2022, along with Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond.

Harden helped Joel Embiid win the league MVP award this season by averaging 21 points and 10.7 assists per game. He also joined Embiid as the first teammates since George Gervin and Johnny Moore of the San Antonio Spurs in 1982 to win both the scoring and assist titles for the same season. In Philadelphia’s three victories against Boston, Harden shot 37 for 61 (60.6%), including a 45-point performance in Game 1 with Joel Embiid out and a 42-point explosion in Game 4, but he went 12-for-55 (21.8%) in the four defeats, including shooting 3-for-11 in Game 7.

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