Doc Rivers Press Conference Recap
The Sixers and Elton Brand officially introduced Doc Rivers as their next head coach on Monday afternoon. Brand gave Rivers lots of praise and said that they "share the same passion to bring an NBA championship to Philadelphia."
Rivers took questions from the media and gave some insight into things he looks to bring to the Sixers' core. He started by his thoughts on franchise cornerstones Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
They've won 65% of the games they've played in, it clearly works when they play together.
Al Horford's fit on the Sixers was a huge question through all of last season. When Horford was brought up, Rivers would say that he and Joel Embiid will play together at times, but he does not have a starting lineup in mind yet. All Rivers could say is "we are going to put out whatever unit we think is best to help us win."
One area that proved to be a weak point for the Sixers under Brett Brown was accountability. Rivers spoke on this area saying that "accountability is key." He would also mention that it is something that has to "start at the top" from the front office down to every player.
Doc Rivers was unemployed for about 72 hours after being relieved from his position with the LA Clippers. It was mentioned that three teams reached out to him within five hours of the news breaking. Rivers said the Sixers were the first team he wanted to speak with and that the coaching job was "something he couldn't turn down."
Another player Rivers spoke highly of was Tobias Harris. In their time together in LA Harris was playing at an All-Star level under Rivers and Rivers is excited to work with him again. He also brought up how he felt pick-and-roll play helped Harris attack mismatches on offense.
Ben Simmons' lack of shooting has been one of the main storylines surrounding the Sixers since his NBA debut. When Rivers was asked about Simmons' reluctance to shoot on the perimeter he said he is "not that concerned" as others are about it.
When young role players like Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton were brought up, Rivers was not shy of his excitement to work with them. Speaking on Thybulle, Rivers said he feels he is "an NBA All-Defensive guy right now." Rivers also brought up Milton's 39 point game against the Clippers this season, saying he feels Milton will "do well under [him].
One of the final points that Rivers gave was how he wants to change the style of play. Stating that he will be looking to increase the pace that they play at.
This was a good first impression of Doc Rivers in Philadelphia. He seems like he is excited to get to work with this core, and is ready to make the changes on and off the floor to help turn this team into a serious title contender.