Sixers general manager Elton Brand reached out to Rivers and his agent, Lonnie Cooper, on Monday to gauge interest in the Sixers job. Rivers was soon on a flight to Philadelphia where Wednesday meetings with Brand, owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer led the parties to quickly negotiate a multi-year deal.
Rivers picks up a Sixers team that lost in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and continues to contemplate changes to a roster Brand remains determined to build around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Rivers was a late entry into a process that had increasingly focused on former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.
Rivers had been intrigued enough by the list, the market, and the organization to fly from the West Coast to sit with the Philadelphia hierarchy.
Rivers, 58, still had two years on his Clippers contract, sources say, so he has a significant amount of money left over, although generally compensation agreements on payment are put in place if a coach is hired. for a new job.
In Rivers’ seven seasons at the helm, the Clippers have gone 356-208, winning 63.1% of their regular-season games – the fifth-best NBA record and the best of any team without a Finals appearance. of the conference.
The Clippers went 49-23 in that regular season, the fourth best record in franchise history, but wasted a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets, relinquishing a 16, 19 and 12 point lead as The Drought of the franchise’s Western Conference Finals reached 50.
Rivers has coached five of the Clippers’ best six regular seasons, but went 3-8 in potential playoff games with the Clippers, tied for worst score by one coach with a team.
Rivers’ 943 career wins are the 11th most scored by a head coach of all time.
Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young was also interviewed for the head coach job and made a strong impression on the organization, sources said.
The Sixers also interviewed Clippers’ assistant Ty Lue this week, sources say, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers plan to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.
The New Orleans Pelicans plan to interview Lue in the near future as well, sources said. Lue and Pelicans, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, have a close bond, including working together to win an NBA title in Cleveland in 2016.