NBA rumors: Doc Rivers signing a five-year deal with Philadelphia

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Joel Embiid: Welcome to the city of Brotherly Love Coach @Doc Rivers !!!! Excited for the future and what we’re building here #PhillyForever
After a rapid courtship and negotiation, Doc Rivers has reached agreement on a deal to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN on Thursday. Rivers' deal with the Sixers comes only three days after departing the LA Clippers -- and returns him to the Atlantic Division where he'll be a principal rival of the Boston Celtics, where Rivers won an NBA title in 2009 as coach.
Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young also interviewed for the head coaching job, and he made a strong impression on the organization, sources said. The Sixers also interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue this week, sources said, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.
Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers has touched down in Philadelphia, arriving in the city on Wednesday afternoon at 4:20 p.m. (see video above). A source tells me that he'll be interviewing for the Sixers' head coaching job tonight.
Time will tell what happens with the coaching job left vacant when Brett Brown was fired on Aug. 24. However, league sources said questions about the Sixers' first-office structure have concerned some qualified would-be candidates. They were also concerned that Embiid’s close relationship with ownership would have an impact on a coach’s authority. Another concern was Embiid and Ben Simmons being empowered to think they have a hand in the coaching hire. The sources also wonder who’s actually in charge, even though the Sixers keep saying it’s Brand.
Has Mike D’Antoni really emerged as the front-runner for the 76ers' head-coaching vacancy even though his style doesn’t fit the team? Or is this just a smokescreen? Multiple league sources say it’s for real. Sources have confirmed the team will interview the former Houston Rockets coach in the coming days. One source said the interview could come as early Wednesday. However, Sixers sources denied D’Antoni would interview that day. Asked if he would interview Thursday, sources said the dates of interviews have yet to be determined.
Adrian Wojnarowski: D’Antoni will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers coaching opening, sources tell ESPN. D'Antoni was an assistant for several months under Brett Brown before accepting the Rockets job four years ago.
Howard Beck: It's been suggested to me that (Philadelphia) is where Mike D'Antoni would prefer to land. Suggested to me, I'm not saying that anybody's saying this definitively.
Dawn Staley is happy with her current job as the head women's basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. But if the Philadelphia 76ers were to show interest in hiring her as their next head coach, she wouldn't ignore those calls. According to a source close to the USC women's basketball program, WACH FOX has been told that Staley would be open to having discussions with her hometown team if they were to reach out to her.
In the column, Staley told Hayes via text that she would "rather be in the stands than on the bench" when it comes to the 76ers. But on Sunday, less than a week after Hayes' column was published, a second source close to the situation told WACH FOX that to Staley, the idea of not only coaching in her hometown but breaking barriers for women in the NBA would be one "she'd definitely entertain."
It is believed that the franchise remains committed to building around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, with the likely onus on figuring out the proper dynamics — on and off the floor — in the hands of the next coach. Keep an eye on the following potential coaching candidates, according to sources: 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Clippers assistant Ty Lue, Villanova’s Jay Wright, and former Grizzlies and Kings coach Dave Joerger.
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September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”
Virtus Bologna’s win over LBA newcomer Tortona in SuperCup Quarterfinal game yesterday night was overshadowed by a serious injury occurred to Nigerian center Ekpe Udoh, who appears to have injured his patellar tendon in a no-contact situation. Former Fenerbahce center was taken out of the court in a stretcher and after the game coach Sergio Scariolo confirmed the seriousness of the injury, adding that the team will look for a replacement in the market: “He’s our cornerstone, both on attack and on defense. It’s dramatic, I hope that it serves to understand that you need to respect the players. Here there are stickers on the court everywhere, in the NBA it’s not the case. We will look for a replacement”.
Storyline: Ekpe Udoh Injury
However, if you ask former Suns forward Matt Barnes, the Suns aren’t favored to make it back to the Finals. In an episode of “The Jump”, Barnes had this to say. (via Fadeaway World, NBA on ESPN YouTube): “Love CP! Love Book! Experience is the best teacher and they have that now. But if the West is healthy, it’s going to be loaded, and it’s going to be tough [for the Suns] to get out. I wouldn’t bet on them, with all due respect. Like I said, great young team, one of the best floor generals we’ve ever seen in the history of this game. But again, a lot of things lined up perfect for them to do what they did last year.”