US basketball

Odds favor Redick as Sixers fire Rivers after repeat playoffs disappointment

Reuters

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Odds favor Redick as Sixers fire Rivers after repeat playoffs disappointment

OUT. Coach Doc Rivers in action at the Sixers sideline.

Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Doc Rivers becomes the latest high-profile coach dismissed

There are several veteran NBA head coaches available, but a surprising name emerged as the favorite to be the next head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers following the firing of Doc Rivers on Tuesday, May 16.

SportsBetting.ag installed former 76ers player JJ Redick as the early 3-1 favorite. That’s ahead of Monty Williams (4-1), who was recently fired by the Phoenix Suns, and former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse (5-1).

Redick, 38, retired after the 2020-2021 season and has become a respected analyst, but also has stated an interest in getting into coaching. He reportedly has interviewed with Toronto, and Redick’s name also could wind up on Philadelphia’s short list.

Among Redick’s 15 seasons in the NBA, two of them were spent with the 76ers from 2017-2019. Somewhat ironically, Redick played for Rivers while with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2013-2017.

‘No one’s safe’

Rivers was fired on Tuesday after a humiliating Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics, as the team bounced out in the second round of the NBA playoffs for a third straight year.

Rivers is one of the most successful coaches in the NBA and had amassed a record of 154 wins and 82 losses in Philadelphia, coaching center Joel Embiid to his first Most Valuable Player honors this season.

After Sunday’s gut-wrenching 112-88 defeat in Boston, he told reporters he would stay, but acknowledged, “No one’s safe in our business.” On Tuesday, he was reminded of that the hard way.

“We’re grateful for all he did in his three seasons here and thank him for the important impact he made on our franchise,” the Sixers’ president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said in a statement.

“After having the chance to reflect upon our season, we decided that certain changes are necessary to further our goals of competing for a championship.”

Rivers is not alone: On Saturday the Suns fired Williams – who won Coach of the Year in 2022 – after losing the conference semifinals for a second straight year.

Williams led Phoenix to the NBA Finals in the 2020-2021 season, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Coaching job openings

There are currently five openings in the NBA, with Milwaukee also parting with Mike Budenholzer and Dwane Casey stepping down from the Detroit Pistons.

Nurse and Williams are candidates to fill vacancies with multiple teams.

While 76ers star Joel Embiid is close with Redick, he has been critical of Nurse on multiple occasions, including questioning his defensive strategy against Philadelphia.

The 76ers do have a big offseason decision to make with pending free agent James Harden. He and Philadelphia president Daryl Morey have a strong history with Mike D’Antoni (7-1) from when the three were together in Houston.

The name on the list with the most recent NBA title on his resume is Frank Vogel (8-1). Vogel led the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship while playing in the bubble during the pandemic. – Rappler.com

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