‘Never Got the Chance to Coach’- Doc Rivers Details His Feelings on Leaving the LA Clippers

Published 02/12/2021, 11:30 AM EST
Dec 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers talks with guard Isaiah Joe (7) during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Doc Rivers is one of the most respected coaches in the NBA. Throughout his tenured career, Rivers has proven to be one of the best coaches to ever work in the NBA.

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Rivers infamously won his first and only NBA championship in 2008 when he led the Celtics to glory over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. He defeated the legendary Phil Jackson to lift his first trophy.

Doc Rivers unhappy with Clippers firing

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However, Rivers was sacked as the LA Clippers coach after their collapse in the Playoffs. Rivers had coached the team for 9 years.

While in conversation with Dan Patrick recently, he was asked to open up about his feelings regarding the firing. Rivers said that he was upset as he didn’t feel like he got a chance to showcase the team and his own ability during his tenure.

Dec 26, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, right, shakes hands with New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau after an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in New York. The 76ers defeated the Knicks 109-89 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

“It was a hard one. Because I know I can coach. And so, when you’re with that team, it was not an easy year last year. You’re in the bubble, half of the guys didn’t play most of the year. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard had 5 practices together the entire year.”

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Rivers wanted to show his coaching ability

Rivers added that the team had great potential to win the NBA championship, but faced a lot of problems. He thinks that the Orlando Bubble was a huge challenge to the team.

Rivers noted that the firing was difficult because he knew that he could coach that team if given the proper opportunity.

“So you know you never got the chance to coach that unit and get them to their potential. But whenever you lose a job, it’s hard because you believe you can do the job. Especially with that team.

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“I looked at that team and thought – healthy all year, I think we would’ve been hard to beat. But we never had that. And the Bubble was a disaster.”

Now Doc Rivers is the new coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. And they have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season.

Can Rivers lead the 76ers to the NBA championship? His arrival has rejuvenated Joel Embiid, who is now playing at an MVP level. And the team is currently looking like one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. But can he go all the way?

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1148 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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