‘This is a historic organization’: Doc Rivers on why 76ers was an opportunity he couldn't pass up

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers watches
Aug 23, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers Photo credit Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When you learn how Glenn "Doc" Rivers got his nickname, it's only fitting the next chapter of his coaching career would take him to Philadelphia.

In the early 80s, Rivers wore a Dr. J T-shirt, and former Marquette assistant coach Rick Majerus gave him the nickname "Doc,” and the name stuck with Rivers as he entered the NBA as a player.

Now, Rivers is hoping to lead the Sixers to their first championship since the days when Dr. J and Moses Malone dominated the NBA.

"This is a historic organization," said Rivers. "It's a historic town that I want to be a part of. I love the pieces here, I love what we have to work with. I really just can't wait to get to work."

Rivers brings an impressive resume to Philadelphia.

He’s been coaching in the NBA for two decades and is 11th all-time in coaching victories with 943. Rivers led the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008 and was one victory away from the conference finals with the Clippers this season.

General manager Elton Brand is confident he has the right coach in place to move the franchise forward.

"I believe Doc can help us unlock our full potential on and off the court," Brand said. "Ultimately, Doc and I share the same passion to bring an NBA championship, another NBA championship, to the city of Philadelphia."

Rivers was hoping to bring a championship to Los Angeles, but the Clippers suffered a second round collapse against Denver.

Los Angeles coughed up a 3-1 series lead to the Nuggets, and Rivers thought about taking a year off after the defeat.

However, the opportunity to coach the 76ers was one he could not pass up.

"I was not just going to coach anybody," said Rivers. "I was ready to take a break, and it just depended on the team that was available and if I thought that team, in my opinion, was ready to win. When Elton called, it was an easy 'get on the plane and take a look' for me."​

While Rivers believes the Sixers have the potential to be a championship contender, others have a different opinion.

After getting swept by the Celtics in the opening round and not advancing past the second round since the team's turnaround, there are questions about the nucleus of the team.

It starts with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Sixers' stars who have had their ups and downs.

Rivers will emphasize that everybody has to be responsible for their actions if the team is to succeed.

"Accountability has to be throughout your team and throughout each single player," Rivers said. “It’s a big word. It’s a word that if you don’t do it, you’re not going to win​."