PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers have named Doc Rivers has their new head coach. Sixers General Manager Elton Brand released an official statement on Saturday morning.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, per team policy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Doc Rivers to Philadelphia as the new head coach of the 76ers. Doc is one of the most respected and accomplished head coaches in the NBA,” Sixers General Manager Elton Brand said. “I believe Doc can help us unlock our full potential on the floor and further our pursuit of an NBA championship. I also respect and appreciate that his impact extends far beyond the basketball court as he truly embraces the platform he has to drive positive change in society. Doc is a great fit for our team and city, and I’m excited for what the future holds with him as our head coach.”
Rivers will serve as the franchise’s 25th head coach.
He comes to the Sixers just a few days after the Los Angeles Clippers fired him after seven seasons. The 58-year-old is considered to be the best coach in Clippers’ history with the most wins (356), most playoff appearances (six), and top winning percentage (.641).
In his seven seasons as the Clippers’ head coach, Rivers was 356-208, taking Los Angeles to the West second round three times but never the conference finals.
The Clippers went 49-23 in the regular season, the fourth-best record in franchise history. Rivers has been the coach in five of the Clippers’ six best regular seasons.
A 34-year NBA veteran — 13 as a player, 21 as a coach — Rivers comes to Philly with a lengthy résumé. Rivers has a 943-681 record with 16 playoff appearances and an NBA title with the 2008 Boston Celtics. He began his head coaching career with the Orlando Magic, from 1999 until 2004.
Rivers says he is excited to join the Sixers’ franchise.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to be joining a world-class franchise, a franchise whose legend inspired my nickname,” Rivers said. “This is a city that loves sports and loves their teams. It’s a city that values hard work and that is exactly what we are going to do and who we are going to be. We are ready to do good things in Philadelphia.”
He has coached several star players, including Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Sixers forward Tobias Harris played in 87 games for Rivers before the Clippers traded him to the Sixers in 2018-19.
His biggest challenge with the Sixers will be figuring out how best to use stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and elevating the team back into the conversation of an NBA title contender.
On Thursday, Joel Embiid posted on social media welcoming Rivers to Philadelphia.
“Welcome to the city of Brotherly Love Coach @DocRivers!!!! Excited for the future and what we’re building here #PhillyForever,” Embiid tweeted.
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) October 1, 2020
Rivers replaces Brett Brown as the Sixers’ head coach.
Brown was fired on Aug. 24 after seven seasons with the Sixers. The Sixers had two 50-win seasons and three consecutive early playoff exits under Brown, who was hired as the team began The Process.
The Sixers reportedly also interviewed Tyronn Lue, Mike D’Antoni and Billy Donovan. Donovan was hired by the Chicago Bulls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.