Sixers GM Daryl Morey addresses media after another second-round exit and Doc Rivers’ firing
Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey spoke with the media today and here’s all the “takeaways” that you might have missed.
One of “the good guys”, Rich Hoffman from The Athletic gave us all of the cliff notes on Twitter, which I also summarized below.
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Daryl Morey on Decision to Fire Doc Rivers
“My job is to evaluate everything. And we felt like that was the best move for helping us get to our goals going forward. It was carefully thought out, and I recommended it to ownership and they accepted it.”
Doc Rivers’ firing was two years too late. Regardless of the fact that this most recent Sixers collapse may not have been entirely his fault, it was time for a change. It should’ve happened after the Atlanta series, if we’re being honest with ourselves.
Daryl Morey on Head Coach Search
“We’re going to look at all the candidates, we’re already very encouraged by the candidates that reached out. We have an MVP player, we have a great roster that lots of players want to play with, lots of coaches want to be with.”
Encouraging to hear coaching candidates are actually reaching out to Daryl Morey for this position; it’s typically the other way around. But as Morey states, the Sixers still have the reigning MVP. I don’t necessarily agree that this roster is “great,” but there are certainly worse roster around the NBA.
Daryl Morey on Players Influence on Head Coach Search
“The players won’t have a direct input in the coach. Obviously who we have as players I think impacts how you want to look for a coach that is a fit with how we want to play and the players we have. But the players won’t have an input in that.”
Let’s make this clear – If 72-year-old Mike D’antoni is the next Sixers coach, James Harden will have been the reason why. So while Morey says his players don’t have a direct impact on the coaching search, we should all take it with a grain of salt. We know Harden wasn’t ecstatic about Rivers and he got fired. If Harden plays a role on who leaves, he certainly has a say on who comes in.
Daryl Morey on Joel Embiid with Doc Rivers
“I think it’s natural to be very close with the people in the locker room, he was very close with [Doc]. And he was shocked about the change. And it’s my job to help convince him that the new coach is someone that he’ll have a great relationship with as well.”
This essentially confirms that Embiid doesn’t have any say in the coaching search, although it kind of feels like Harden does. Which, for the record, is completely asinine. I don’t think the big fella will take kindly to his franchise making drastic moves without his approval. In today’s NBA, superstars (let alone MVPs) are usually afforded some sort input on their coaches. I’m not in the mood to defend Embiid at the moment, but these are the types of moves that will eventually drive him out of town.
Daryl Morey on New Head Coach
“I do think if you look at the history of the NBA, it’s challenging to walk into that as a first-time NBA head coach. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked. There are, for every rule, solid counterexamples. So we’re not going to go in with like a prescription.”
Yeah, the Sixers are going to retread the veteran coach route like they did with Doc. Sweet.
Daryl Morey on 2nd Round Exits
“I would say we haven’t won the championship. I’m just saying I would reframe it, let’s just reframe it that way.”
Using semantics to try and defend another embarrassing second-round exit is exactly what an analytical nerd would do.
Daryl Morey on James Harden Player Option
“We can’t have those discussions yet. But we are interested in bringing him back.”
“We feel good about the alternate scenarios as well. Scenario A would be to bring James back. Scenario B, if he’s not back, we’ll have to get creative and we feel good about the tools available to us if that happens.”
Morey clearly wants to win with Harden by his side. Not sure why, but as long as Morey is the general manager for the Sixers, it looks like Harden will remain in place as well.
TLL’s Lord and Savior Drew Smith with his thoughts on the presser:
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Drew.