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Sixers fire head coach Doc Rivers

Sixers fire head coach Doc Rivers after 3 seasons
Sixers fire head coach Doc Rivers after 3 seasons 01:54

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Doc Rivers' tenure as the Philadelphia 76ers' head coach is over. The Sixers on Tuesday fired Rivers after a crushing Game 7 loss to the Celtics and another second-round exit, a team source confirmed to CBS News Philadelphia.

Rivers took over as the Sixers' head coach in October 2020.

The Sixers had their best regular season in over 20 years and finished with a 54-28 record to secure the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

"Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, a future Hall of Famer, and someone I respect immensely," Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said in a statement. "We're grateful for all he did in his three seasons here and thank him for the important impact he made on our franchise. 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." 

The Sixers went 154-82 in three seasons with Rivers as their head coach but lost in the semifinals three straight years.

In Rivers' first year, the Sixers fell to the Hawks in seven games. The following year, they were bounced out by the Heat in six games.

"As far as my coach, I thought he's done a fantastic job," Joel Embiid said Sunday. "He came in, I think we've gotten over the years. I thought he's done a great job. I don't make the decisions, and I think he should be fine. We got a great relationship. You look at the whole way he handled the situation a year or two ago, I thought he kept the team afloat. He's been a great leader for all of us, a great motivator, but then again, you look at what's happening all around the league. It's tough. But then again, I'm glad I don't make those decisions."

Rivers, 61, started coaching for the Orlando Magic in 2000 and won an NBA title as a coach with the Celtics in 2008.

His teams are 6-10 in playoff Game 7's, the most losses for any coach in NBA history. Rivers' teams are 17-33 in games where they had the chance to clinch a playoff series. 

The dismissal of Rivers comes as teams around the league have already fired their coaches following playoff exits. 

The Suns fired Monty Williams after losing to the Nuggets in six games and the Bucks fired Mike Budenholzer, who won the NBA Finals in 2021, following a first-round upset against the Heat.

Rivers released a statement about his firing from the team on Instagram Tuesday night: 

"I really enjoyed my time in Philadelphia -- what a great city. I want to start by thanking my staff, the players and the ownership group for their support. We got a lot done in a short amount of time. I'd also like to thank the 76ers fans. guys are tough, and I think you've learned I'm tough too. I absolutely love your commitment to the city and its teams - never lose that. I wanted, just as badly as you, to bring another championship to Philadelphia. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead, to learn, and to love this great city."

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