Daryl Morey: Doc Rivers will return as coach in 2022-23

After the 76ers exit, Doc Rivers becomes a philosopher about winning and losing.

The Philadelphia 76ers are still grappling with their second straight Eastern Conference semifinal loss, but they won’t change who coaches the team next season.

Daryl Morey, president of basketball operations for the Sixers, told reporters on Friday that coach Doc Rivers would return as coach in 2022-23. Rivers has been with the Sixers since the 2020-21 season and led the team to a 51-31 record last campaign.

The Sixers were knocked out of the playoffs Thursday night when the Miami Heat beat Philadelphia 99-90 in Game 6 of the series. Last season, the 76ers reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals as the No. 1 seed in the conference, but were upset in Game 7 at home by the Atlanta Hawks.

Rivers is signed through the 2024-25 season.

“I don’t worry about my job. I think I’m doing a terrific job. If you don’t, then you should write it,” Rivers said Thursday night. “Because I worked really hard to bring this team here. When I got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. Again this year, same thing. If that’s how it feels someone, write it down. I’m going to feel safe about it.

Philadelphia is facing a key offseason, especially when it comes to star goaltender James Harden. The 76ers acquired him at the trade deadline and had mixed results with him at best in the playoffs.

James Harden’s 11-point performance in Game 6 was a troubling sign for Philadelphia as it exits the playoffs in 2022.

He had a fantastic Game 4 at home against Miami, but was plagued with turnovers in every series. When he lost another ball that led to a Heat bucket and an 80-63 lead in the fourth quarter of Game 6, the Sixers were booed off the field.

Harden scored all of his 11 points in the first half. He had four turnovers and four baskets. Harden, who has a $47.4 million player option for 2022-23, missed both shots in the second half and scored his final field goal at 3:31 of the second quarter.

In his comments on Friday, Morey said he plans to see Harden back in the mix next season and hopes he will be part of the squad during training camp in the fall.

“The plan is to bring him back. That’s been the plan since the trade,” Morey said. “Obviously we have to work with his representation, and it will be between us to figure out how it works.

“A full offseason, a full training camp, a full time where everyone can learn to unlock how good everyone can be together. This band – Joel, James, Tobias [Harris], [Tyrese] Maxey – this band played really well together. We can play even better. »

Few people in Philadelphia would give “The Beard” a passing grade, however, after he made the playoffs. That said, Harden said he will return next season.

“I’m sure since we got him, everyone was expecting the Houston James Harden,” Embiid said. “But that’s not who he is anymore.”

The Sixers’ 2021-22 season is ending with a slew of questions to answer.

Embiid has once again dumped a postseason game in his mask (right orbital fracture) and will undergo surgery on torn ligaments in his right thumb. He was only cleared to return last week after suffering a concussion. He held the back of his head after hitting him on the field after a fall late in the second quarter. Embiid still played 22 minutes in the first half of Game 6 and scored 14 points.

He missed the first two games of the series while recovering from the concussion. The Sixers lost both games in Miami. Would a healthy Embiid have made a difference? Maybe not, but it’s yet another sudden end for the All-Star cornerstone who has yet to taste a conference final. Maybe he would have played in one or two if Butler had stuck around.

“At some point you have to stop looking at the coaches and the front office,” Embiid said. “You have to look at the players. Maybe we’re just not good enough.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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