Despite possessing one of the better rosters in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers went out meekly in the Eastern Conference semifinals, losing the final two games of the series to the Miami Heat without even putting up a fight.
It has led to rumors that Sixers head coach Doc Rivers would get fired after he failed to get them to the conference finals in his two seasons with the team.
Reportedly, if Rivers gets a pink slip, the Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly look to interview him and seriously consider him for their head coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst during an appearance on “Get Up.”
Via lakers nation:
“Doc Rivers is under contract for next year,” said Windhorst. “However, there is a team in Los Angeles, the Lakers, who are watching the developments closely over the next couple of days. If the Sixers elect to make a change there, and it’s a possibility, it also depends on where the ownership is about potentially paying out Doc Rivers’ contract, where Daryl Morey is about wanting to replace, remember Morey didn’t hire Doc Rivers.
“But if Doc Rivers becomes free, the Los Angeles Lakers will definitely have interest. Now they have a process, they have numerous candidates, but he will immediately become a leading contender to get that Laker job. I don’t believe Doc Rivers is interested in coaching anywhere besides Philadelphia or Los Angeles next year.”
Rivers certainly has the name recognition and the resume to handle coaching the Purple and Gold. He guided the Boston Celtics to the NBA title in 2008, and he has coached some of the game’s best players.
However, what may give Lakers fans pause is how Rivers’ teams have fallen apart in the playoffs, blowing 3-2 and 3-1 series leads multiple times.
Rivers may be staying put
Lakers fans who are pining for Rivers to be the team’s next head coach may have to keep dreaming.
Sixers general manager Daryl Morey said early on Friday that Rivers isn’t going anywhere.
It remains to be seen if Morey’s words can be taken at face value, or if this is standard deflection and denial in advance of a head coach getting fired.
The Lakers have already interviewed a number of candidates, most of whom are currently young assistant coaches, but they will reportedly take their time in case Rivers or Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder become available.