Rivers' deal with the Sixers comes only three days after departing the LA Clippers. It also returns him to the Atlantic Division where he'll be a principal rival of the Boston Celtics, where Rivers won an NBA title in 2009 as coach.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand on Monday reached out to Rivers and his agent, Lonnie Cooper, to gauge interest in the Sixers job. Rivers soon was on a flight to Philadelphia where meetings on Wednesday with Brand, owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer had the sides moving quickly toward negotiating a multi-year deal.
Rivers takes over a Sixers team that lost in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and continues to consider changes to a roster that Brand remains determined to construct around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Rivers was a late entry into a process that had become increasingly focused on former Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni.
Doc Rivers Bio— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) October 1, 2020
▪️Head Coaching Resume▪️
🏆 NBA Coach of Year (2000)
🏆 NBA Title (2008)
▶️2013–2020 Clippers@6abc @DocRivers #DocRivers #Sixers https://t.co/OBrA6IHNZi pic.twitter.com/UjOrRvL5Wq
Rivers had been intrigued enough with the roster, marketplace and organization to fly from the west coast to sit down with Philadelphia's hierarchy.
Rivers, 58, had two years left on his Clippers contract, sources said, so he remains owed a significant sum of money, although typically there are offset agreements on the payout put into place should a coach be hired in a new job.
New Sixers coach Doc Rivers got his nickname “Doc” after wearing a “Dr. J" Julius Erving T-shirt while at Marquette summer camp in the 1980’s— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) October 1, 2020
Late legendary coach Rick Majerus, then an assistant at Marquette called him “Doc” when he spotted Rivers wearing it - it stuck@6abc pic.twitter.com/ojydWBXSSM
Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young also interviewed for the head coaching job and made a strong impression on the organization, sources said.
The Sixers also interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue this week, sources said, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.
The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to interview Lue in the near future too, sources said. Lue and Pelicans Executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin have strong ties, most notably working together to win an NBA title in Cleveland in 2016.
--ESPN contributed to this report.