Daryl Morey talks Sixers letting go of Doc Rivers, new coaching search

CAMDEN, N.J.–The first major domino for the Philadelphia 76ers fell on Tuesday when they moved on from Doc Rivers. They let go of the head coach after three seasons on the job with a lot of wins, but a lot of playoff failures as well.

The latest was being up 3-2 in the semifinals against the Boston Celtics with Game 6 being back in Philadelphia. The Sixers weren’t able to finish the job at home and then they got annihilated in Game 7 as their season ended.

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The loss ultimately sealed the fate for Rivers and President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and co. had to make a move.

“My job is to evaluate everything and we felt like that was the best move for helping us get to our goals going forward,” said Morey. “It was carefully thought out and I recommended it to ownership and they accepted it.”

Rivers was brought to Philadelphia to help the Sixers take the next step. They had not been able to get out of the semifinals under previous coach Brett Brown and the Sixers were hoping Rivers would be able to get it done.

So that begs the question of whether the Sixers would have fired Rivers or not if they had made it to the Eastern Conference finals.


“I don’t like to totally talk in theoreticals,” Morey added. “I wasn’t here when Doc came in, but I know the goal was to get to the conference finals or farther and really to win the championship, but that’s also the goal given to me. So yeah, one more win is something that would obviously have been a very positive thing and hopefully would have been nine more wins if I can do the math.”

As the Sixers now turn their attention to the coaching search, Morey adds that there won’t necessarily be “requirements” per se. Philadelphia knows what it possesses on the basketball court and the Sixers want to be able to just find the right guy to lead that group.

“I wouldn’t say requirement,” Morey explained. “I think when you get into requirements, you miss opportunities, but I would say that we have a roster ready to win. Obviously, we’ve been very successful. Just came up short of our goals. I think we have an MVP-level player and I do think that if you look at the history of the NBA, it’s challenging to walk into that as a first-time NBA coach. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked.”

Morey then went on to explain that the Sixers are generally looking for somebody to lead and to build a winning culture and organization. Even if it is a first-year coach.


“For every rule, there’s a solid counter-example,” continued Morey. “So we’re not going to go on with like a prescription, but we’re looking for someone who brings leadership and accountability, someone who is good at tactics, someone who has great relationships with his star players, and who someone who is good at recruiting star players and players want to play for, someone who builds a great organization.”

However, Morey did add that Rivers brought those qualities to the position. So this isn’t an indictment on Rivers.

“I 100% believe we had that with Coach Rivers,” Morey finished. “I want to be very clear, but those are the kinds of criteria we looked at. Those are the kinds of criteria that led to hiring Doc and we’re going to work hard to find someone who hits all those marks again.”


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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire