Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers
Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers Getty Images | Michael Reaves


  • Sources claim Joel Embiid was disappointed in the decision to let go of Doc Rivers
  • Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey has confirmed Embiid's affinity for Rivers
  • The Sixers appear to have prioritized James Harden's commitment to the franchise

The Philadelphia 76ers decided to end the Doc Rivers era after a successful regular season that culminated in another second-round exit, and franchise cornerstone Joel Embiid was certainly not pleased with the decision.

"I am here to tell you right now, Joel Embiid wasn't happy that Doc Rivers got fired. Not from everything that I'm hearing, and I worked in Philadelphia for 17 years, and I still know a lot of people within the Philadelphia 76ers organization. I ain't guessing. I'm telling you," Stephen A. Smith was quoted to have said.

During a press conference this afternoon, Sixers president Daryl Morey practically confirmed the closeness that Embiid had with Rivers and how it will now be his job to convince their superstar that the new head coach will lead them to the promised land.

"They had a strong relationship... He was very close with coach Rivers and was shocked by the change. It's my job to help convince him that the new coach is someone he'll have a great relationship with," Morey told reporters.

Following their exit at the hands of a Boston Celtics team that forced them to enter a Game 7 situation despite having a 3-2 series lead, questions of Rivers' job security began to come up as Sixers co-star James Harden was entering the offseason on a player option.

It was believed at the time that because of Harden's displeasure with Rivers as head coach, the Sixers' upper management would have to decide whether they place more importance on having a committed Harden on the team or running it back with Rivers at the helm.

Soon after, the firing of Rivers was announced and it appears to signify that they would rather keep the 33-year-old guard and let go of the coach rather than the other way around.

A lot of fans and observers were not pleased with the decision to fire Rivers as he was made out to be the scapegoat for the Sixers' failures in the 2023 NBA playoffs, pointing out him being outcoached in Game 6 and 7 by Joe Mazzulla of the Celtics.

However, it is worth noting that both Embiid and Harden played terribly in the closeout games, while completely disappearing in the 24-point drubbing in Game 7.

Regardless, the Sixers are sticking with their star duo for another go-around, but it remains to be seen whether the 2017-18 NBA MVP will sign an extension or gamble on himself with the player option worth $35.6 million.

Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid
#0 Tyrese Maxey (left) and #21 Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. Keith Pompey/Twitter