Doc Rivers is committed to winning the title, but with the 76ers?

Trainer Doc Rivers stood on the sidelines at the Wells Fargo Center with his arms crossed late Thursday night, his face tense, his Philadelphia 76ers going to the ground in a must-see Game 6 of a series of Eastern Conference second round playoffs and his future as team coach will soon become a topic of discussion.

Minutes after the 76ers were knocked out of the playoffs from Miami, Rivers sat on a podium doing his post-game interview when a reporter asked him about the safety of his job with Philadelphia. “I don’t care about my job, but I think I do a great job, and if you don’t, then you should write it down, because I’ve worked hard to bring this team here.”

About 14 hours later, Rivers sat on a podium next to Daryl Morey and overheard the Philadelphia basketball operations president explain to reporters why Rivers will be returning next season for his third year with the franchise.

“I just think he’s a great coach,” Morey said during the team’s exit interviews. “I love working with him. I feel like I’m learning from him. I think [general manager] Elton [Brand] and he and I are a great team and we will see where this journey takes us. “

What was not said Thursday night and Friday afternoon was why Rivers’ working status with the team had never been questioned.

Morey and Rivers have been hearing rumors for months that if Rivers didn’t at least reach the conference finals he could lose his job and Rivers would instantly. become a leading candidate Replace Frank Vogel as the next Lakers coach.

Those rumors could have been a distraction this season, but Rivers wouldn’t allow it.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s good for me or bad for me, one way or another,” Rivers told the Times later Friday night. “It’s good that that’s what people think of you. But that’s not something you want, honestly. You don’t want to talk, just because you’re coaching a team. You want all of your players to understand that you are in it for the right reasons, and I am. I think it has been proven. “

When the 76ers acquired James Harden from Brooklyn in an exchange for Ben Simmons and others in February, rumors began to take shape from NBA insiders that Morey wanted to team up with former Houston manager Mike D again. ‘Antoni. The two, along with Harden, had found some success with the Rockets, and the prevailing thought was that the three of them wanted to recreate that magic in Philadelphia, along with All-Star center Joel Embiid.

when the Lakers fired Vogel, the rumors intensified, many believed Rivers was the perfect person for the team, the only person who could coach and earn the respect of the three Los Angeles stars, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. The person with the championship pedigree who could bring the franchise back stumbled on solid ground.

Rumors are part of the NBA business and Rivers knows there’s nothing he can do to stop it. Rivers says he’s happy here and his goal is to win a title with the 76ers. Rivers has reportedly signed a five-year contract with the 76ers that has three years remaining.

“However, I ignore most of the speeches,” he said. “This is what I did. I ignore negative talk, even though I wish the fiery side of me wouldn’t react at times. I’m just doing my job. “

Even a disgruntled 76ers fan seemed aware of the rumors, getting wild when Philadelphia fell behind in the third quarter, directing his ire against Rivers and Harden.

“Doc, I better get you back together or it’s over for you,” the fan yelled. “Get your ass back to Los Angeles… Harden, you fucking crap. … I hate this fucking team … “

Philadelphia manager Doc Rivers talks to sideline guard Tyrese Maxey.

Philadelphia manager Doc Rivers talks to pitchside guard Tyrese Maxey during the first game of their playoff series against Miami.

(Marta Lavandier / Associated Press)

Morey basically put an end to all the chatter.

“No, it was never a problem there,” Rivers said. “I don’t worry about that at all. And I don’t even worry about that kind of thing. I’m in this to win. I love to coach. But for me it must always be team, front office, organization, we all want to win. those don’t, you can’t. For example, if the front office, the property and the coaches aren’t all on the same page, you’re not winning. And you have to be there, and we are.

The Lakers were given permission to speak with Milwaukee assistant manager Darvin Ham, Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin, former Brooklyn and Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee. They interviewed former Portland manager Terry Stotts and former Golden State manager and ESPN NBA analyst Mark Jackson at work. Lakers general manager and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said the team hoped to have someone in position by the June NBA draft.

Yet in a league where stars and superstars matter and are the main reasons teams win championships, Rivers controls that box more than most.

Rivers coached Embiid and Harden – and Simmons before being swapped – in Philadelphia, Tracy McGrady in Orlando, Kevin Garnett’s big three, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in Boston, and Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with the Clippers.

“This is what I was hired for,” Rivers said. “My job is to make the stars play together and win. This has been my job. “

How, Rivers, it’s been asked, does it work?

“It’s hard,” Rivers said. “Winning is difficult. Even if you make the stars give up their own to play together, you still don’t guarantee that you will win. But I know one thing, if you don’t, you aren’t. This is the key is to get the kids to play together and win together. This is who we should be in this to win. If a great player can only be great on his own, then he cannot be great. Quite right?

“Magic Johnson and Bill Russell for me – I always use them as an example – have figured out how to be great themselves and allow everyone else on the team to be awesome. And when that happens, your team wins. … Kobe [Bryant] and Shaq [O’Neal] they had their difficulties, but they understood it. They must. They needed each other. Pau Gasol and the whole group … Stars, you can’t win without them, and you have to try to understand how you can play team basketball with your stars and if you can do it you can be successful. “

In his 23 seasons as a manager, Rivers has put together an impressive resume.

He is ranked 9th in NBA history for most regular season wins (1,043) and has the fourth most playoff wins (104), putting him behind the distinguished group of Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Gregg Popovich.

Rivers was named one of the 15 best coaches in NBA history when the championship celebrated its 75th anniversary season during the 2021-22 campaign.

He won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 2008 by beating the Lakers and then lost in the 2010 Finals to the Lakers.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Clippers manager Doc Rivers chat after a game in 2016.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Clippers manager Doc Rivers chat after a game in 2016.

(Andrew D. Bernstein / NBAE via Getty Images)

Rivers remain pushed to win championships.

He says getting a team to work together is “relentless” pursuit.

“You can’t give up hope and dreams,” Rivers said. “You can’t let them give up and you have to continually sell them if it’s worth it. Everyday. Because for some of them it’s a gamble to let go of their comfort zone they’re in, it’s a relentless sale but it’s worth it. And it is difficult, because you know what happens during the season, there is evil [stuff] it’s about to happen. There is only.

“You will have a losing streak. Someone will get hurt. A guy will go into crisis and blame you for the crisis on him and then stop coming in and then he might start in the locker room, ‘Dude, we don’t know if we should be doing these things.’ Like, you have to fight all this. You have to be relentless in your approach to your teens and then eventually they have to see for yourself: ‘This [coach] has no agenda. He wants to win. That’s all. And she’s not giving in. ‘ This is the other thing: ‘It’s not changing.’ And this is important. And that you are a partner. the no. One thing you must have is cooperation. That’s all.”