Sixers start to right the ship by hiring Rivers, Morey
I haven’t been paying much attention to the NBA in recent weeks, once the Philadelphia 76ers lost in the playoffs. I fully expected the Celtics to trounce them, and they did. After that, my interest flagged. I didn’t spend more than a few minutes watching any of the championship series between the Lakers and the Heat. In that contest, I was rooting for Miami because I wanted to see Jimmy Butler, an ex-Sixer, win a ring. Plus, he and his teammates were major underdogs, and who doesn’t like an underdog? Still, that wasn’t enough to get me to tune in.
But as chaotic and disappointing as the 2019-20 season was for the Sixers, I was glad to hear they hired Doc Rivers as their next head coach. It was time for the Brett Brown era to end. And even though he wasn’t responsible for the roster, Brown was not good at maximizing the talent he had. I’m also not sure he held his players accountable enough. That was one of Butler’s criticisms, and I believe it has merit.
Rivers is a very good, well-respected coach with an NBA title to his credit. The Sixers are lucky to have him, after he and the Clippers parted ways.
The front office gets a major boost
Then this week, the media reported that the team is bringing ex-Rockets general manager Daryl Morey onboard. This is a big deal, because Morey did a tremendous job with Houston. His signature move: trading for James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he had been overshadowed by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Harden has since turned into superstar.
Morey won’t replace Elton Brand, but will work with him in making over a roster that will probably be very different in 2020-21 than it was this past season. Josh Richardson and Al Horford are likely gone, and maybe Tobias Harris, too.
The additions of River and Morey make me feel a lot better about the Sixers’ future, because there will still be the talent to contend – with the right pieces around that talent.