PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doc Rivers will return to the Philadelphia 76ers for a third season as the team’s head coach, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey confirmed Friday. Morey was asked if Rivers would return for the 2022-23 season and responded with “yes.”
“It’s tough to be here right now. Still emotional. Doc met with the team in the locker room and that will stay there,” Morey said. “It was an emotional locker room. Look, we’re excited about what we can build from here. We think a lot of things that we can approve on. That’s on myself, that’s on Elton [Brand], that’s on Coach Rivers. We’re going to figure this out.”
The Sixers were eliminated by the top-seeded Miami Heat in the second round of the NBA playoffs in six games. The season came to an end Thursday night with a 99-90 loss to the Heat at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the second straight season the Sixers were bounced in the second round with Rivers as head coach and the fourth time in the past five seasons. In 2019-20, the Sixers were swept in the first round, which resulted in Brett Brown’s firing.
“We didn’t win a championship, so that’s a goal and we didn’t meet it,” Morey said.
The Sixers hired Rivers on Oct. 3, 2020, to replace Brett Brown. The Sixers earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference in Rivers’ first year as head coach but were eliminated in seven games in the semifinals by the Atlanta Hawks.
This season, the Sixers finished 51-31 and fourth in the East while playing half of the season without their second-best player, Ben Simmons, who demanded a trade and caused off-court distractions. Joel Embiid put together another MVP-caliber season, and the Sixers finally jettisoned Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster trade for James Harden.
Ultimately, Harden wasn’t enough and Embiid’s injuries proved too much to overcome in the postseason.
But Morey answered one of the many questions the Sixers face this offseason on Friday.
They won’t be searching for a new head coach.