Sixers Linked To Major Coaching Candidates After Firing Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers, 76ers, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers need a new head coach after firing Doc Rivers and the franchise is looking to replace the Chicago native with a big name with NBA experience.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Sixers’ search for a new head coach is expected to include Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel and Monty Williams.

Budenholzer, Nurse and Williams were fired by the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns, respectively. Meanwhile, Cassell is currently an assistant coach with the Sixers, Vogel last coached the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021-22, and D’Antoni — who has a strong relationship with Sixers star James Harden — last worked with the Brooklyn Nets as an assistant coach in 2020-21.

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Nurse, Budenholzer and Vogel have each won a championship as a head coach. Nurse guided the Raptors to the 2019 title over the Golden State Warriors, Vogel led the Lakers to the 2020 Finals — where Los Angeles beat the Miami Heat at the Walt Disney World bubble — and Budenholzer helped the Bucks win it all in 2021 over Williams and the Suns.

Cassell, who played 15 years in the NBA, has never been a head coach, while D’Antoni has never won a ring despite being a brilliant offensive mind.

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Harden and Joel Embiid are two of the best players in the NBA, so the Sixers should be able to get a high-profile coach. Philadelphia lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games despite having a 3-2 lead in the series. Both Harden and Embiid struggled in Game 7, combining for just 24 points, but it was Rivers who fell on the sword and got fired.

Doc Rivers, who won the 2008 championship with the Celtics, never got past the second round of the playoffs with the Sixers. He went 154-82 during the regular season and 20-15 in the playoffs.

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