Doc Rivers shares thoughts on The Sixers Off Season on The VC Show with Vince Carter

we haven’t heard much from sixes Head coach Doc Rivers this offseason. I think he is using his downtime to spend time with family and hit the links (Update: Rivers actually had hip replacement surgery and hasn’t been able to golf this summer. Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery, Doc), So it was interesting to see him pop up on The VC Show with Vince Carter for an hour-long chat with Carter and Ross Gold-Onwood. The discussion covered a number of Sixers- and NBA-related topics, but we’re going to highlight the focused bits this past Sixers off-season.

On her liaison with James Harden this summer, Rivers had this to say:

“Too much. He calls me too much. You can tell that. He really does, it’s been great. He’s working. He’s working his butt off. I think that’s the last.” The week was about nine boys in town and they worked together everyday. Vince, you know, when you start seeing that kind of stuff, it’s people, that’s what players get at each other. When You see it, you know it’s a good sign. He works with our development guys. They report back that he’s in great shape. And he’s working his butt off. I saw him about four days ago and he looks great.

Via social media, we’ve seen Harden hanging out and working with Joel Embiid, PJ Tucker and Tyrese Maxi, just to name a few. Everyone on the roster certainly seems vibrant and is going to be on the same page next season.

On Harden’s exit and signing for less money to help the team this season:

“James did some cool things for the team this summer, like giving money. I always laugh at him, you know. And it’s awesome, well, it’s awesome that he did that. And the fans always liked ‘Yeah, that’s great,’ James in this case I thought it was the perfect thing to do. He knew he had been in a difficult negotiating position himself since last year. He was honest about it. It’s rare that you get the honesty you’d get from him. And then secondly, he was like, ‘Listen, I want to win, how can we do this? How can I use my contract to help us win?’ So it just tells you that, right now, he’s in the right place, and we honestly needed him there, because we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did this summer without James’ help.”

The Sixers would not have been able to sign PJ Tucker without Harden for less money. They may have used part of the taxpayer mid-tier exception to acquire Danielle House, Jr., but they needed a full non-taxpayer MLE for Tucker. Since Tucker was a clear target for the team, and someone Embiid had openly suggested getting into the fold, James certainly did the organization a solid.

To tighten up on new additions to the roster:

“Not only getting PJ Tucker, I think the one trick people aren’t looking for is D’Anthony Melton. I love the kid. I think he fits into our DNA. And I do season after season.” Was honest with our team and our organization. We weren’t good enough to beat Miami. They were more difficult. They were over-bought. And we needed to add some strength to our team. Getting PJs clearly added to that. But D’Anthony Melton also has the same DNA. So we needed that in this team, and he could hit, he could shoot the ball. And playing with Joel and James, that fact That you can make three and pretend it’s going to be huge for us.”

Toughness was certainly the major buzzword for the Sixers this season, and anyone watching Games 5 and 6 against Miami would be hard-pressed to disagree. In addition to being effective two-way players, Tucker, Melton and House all fit the mold.

On handling allegations of tampering with the league:

“You handle it, because it’s not true. Honestly, when James did this and said this, at first, we had no idea what we were going to do with the money we were getting. Listen, James also won. James could have opted for a one year deal. Instead, we gave him three years. [Note: Harden actually signed a two-year deal with a second-year player option.] And so both the parties won in many ways. You know, listen, it worked for us, it worked for James. I guarantee you Daryl [Morey] Didn’t know what James was about to do. I remember talking to him on the eve of when James could opt-in or out, and he said, ‘We have five hours left.’ I mean, that was Daryl Morey, so he tells you, he had no idea. ,

I doubt the league can do anything about harden things, as James gets the protection of a second-year player option from this whole situation. I think it’s more likely that the Sixers get the now-standard second-round pick slap on the wrist, with Tucker’s signing for free agency being reported well before the start. It’s dumb, because everyone in the league is talking to players ahead of time, but it seems like you’re going to have to house things tightly to avoid the wrath of the league office and laudable denial.

My main conclusion from this interview is that the vibes for the Sixers this season remain excellent. be sure to Listen to the full hour-long episode Which dives into several other topics:

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