The 76ers coaching search just got a little more interesting.
The team had communications Monday with representatives of former Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers about its coaching vacancy, according to sources. The conversation came shortly after the Clippers fired Rivers after seven seasons.
The New Orleans Pelicans also reached out to Rivers.
The 58-year-old compiled a 356-208 record, with the top winning percentage (.631) in franchise history. Overall, Rivers has a 943-681 mark in 21 seasons. He’s two victories shy of passing Bill Fitch for 10th place on the NBA all-time wins list. Rivers also led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title.
His availability changes the dynamics for the Sixers' search. They are scheduled to interview Clippers assistant Ty Lue on Tuesday. Sources have said the job was former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s to lose.
Lue and Jeff Van Gundy have been mentioned as possible replacements for Rivers in Los Angeles.
Rivers checks a lot of boxes for the Sixers, and like Lue, comes with an NBA championship pedigree. One has to assume the Sixers would at least like to talk to him about the job.
He was let go by Los Angeles after the Clippers failed to live up to this season’s lofty expectations. They were favored to reach the Western Conference finals after the off-season acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the second round after holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-the-seven series.
“Doc has been a terrific coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador, and a pillar of strength during tumultuous times,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said. “He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise.”