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Rivers told reporters he thought he was doing well at his position and believed the 76ers were outperforming expectations with Joel Embiid playing like an MVP another year. However, the 99-90 loss to the Heat leaves Philadelphia watching the rest of the postseason on TV.
James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers talks with head coach Doc Rivers against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at FTX Arena on May 10, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
“I don’t worry about my job. I think I do a terrific job and if you don’t then you should write it. I work my butt off to get this team here,” Rivers said. “When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. And again this year, the same thing. If that’s how anyone feels, write it.
“Every time you’re wrong, should you lose your job? No. So, it’s the same thing. If you believe that, then go with it. I know what I did this year and I feel very good about that.”
For what it’s worth, Rivers took over a team that made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals two consecutive years before losing in the first round of the bubble playoffs in 2020. In his first season, the team made it to the conference semifinals as well before losing to the Atlanta Hawks.
Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers during play against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on May 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Rivers’ defense didn’t stop 76ers fans from tweeting about Jay Wright. The men’s college basketball coach, who stepped down from his head coaching position at Villanova, appeared to be tapped by the fans to replace Rivers.
Head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats looks on in the first half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal at Caesars Superdome on April 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Philadelphia hasn’t made it to the conference finals since 2001 under Larry Brown with Allen Iverson running the offense.