PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Sixers head coach Doc Rivers did not sit on the sidelines during the 2020 presidential campaign. He endorsed the idea of using arenas as polling places, pushed the message to get out and vote, and publicly endorsed the campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
On Wednesday, Rivers saw those efforts, and the efforts of countless others, culminate in the inauguration of Biden as the 46th president of the United States and Harris as the first female, Black and Southeast Asian vice president.
"It was awesome for a lot of reasons, obviously — Being involved on that side and seeing the people that you want to go in office go in office," Rivers said before his Sixers faced the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center.
But there was more to it than supporting the winning side. Rivers, who coached the Los Angeles Clippers for seven seasons before coming to Philadelphia, revealed that he has known Harris, a Californian, for "a good eight, nine years."
"It was very emotional, just really neat for me and just a lot of people. It was a good day."
Rivers indicated he had not had the chance to speak with President Biden since he won the election in November, but he said he’s kept in contact with Vice President Harris.
"I have talked to the vice president in texts a couple of times as well," he said. "I got a feeling starting today my texts may not go through anymore, because I know they change phones as of today."
It wasn’t just a "good day" for Rivers. After his Sixers beat the Celtics 117-109, Rivers started singing the late Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" as he began his postgame video conference with the media.
Asked why he was singing that tune, Rivers said it was because he saw Demi Lovato sing it at the inaugural celebration.
"My granddaughter loves that song, so it’s stuck in my head," Rivers said.
As if to drive the mood home, Rivers ended the media briefing by saying, with a smile: "Have a lovely day. Take care."