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Philadelphia 76ers fire Doc Rivers after another early playoff exit

The Philadelphia 76ers are sick of being good enough to qualify for the postseason but not good enough to go deep into the playoffs. Doc Rivers has coached the team to three consecutive Eastern Conference semifinals, but no further.

On Tuesday, just days after the Sixers got eliminated by the Boston Celtics, the organization decided to fire coach Rivers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Rivers led a 154-82 record across three seasons with the 76ers, including a 20-15 record in the playoffs. But the 76ers clearly have much bigger goals than just reaching the postseason.

Now the task becomes trying to find a coach who can get even more out of a roster led by Joel Embiid and James Harden. Embiid already made waves when suggesting the team had to look within to get better production out of the other parts of the roster. Other reports suggested Harden no longer wanted to play for coach Rivers. Now, if the star guard stays in Philly, he won’t have to.

The 76ers already have formulated a list of candidates to take over the Joel Embiid-led team. Woj highlights Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel, and Monty Williams in no specific order.

Meanwhile, Rivers immediately becomes one of the top coaches available. For the four other NBA teams with a vacancy, Rivers could be an enticing option in Phoenix, Detroit, Milwaukee, or Toronto, as he comes with 24 years of experience, including an NBA championship.

Rivers has since issued a statement on Instagram, thanking the city of Philadelphia and the 76ers for the opportunity. Where he goes next remains to be seen, but with so many other current vacancies, if Rivers wants to continue coaching, one would think he’ll have an opportunity to do so.

Related: Top NBA head coach candidates for 2023, including Nick Nurse and Becky Hammon

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