Multiple Sixers react to Doc Rivers’ monumental victory over Knicks
The Philadelphia 76ers knocked off the New York Knicks between 109 and 89 on Saturday night, and under normal circumstances that would just be a hot December win. However, 2020 was anything but a hot time.
In this case it was a milestone for coach Doc Rivers, who won his 945th career victory as head coach in his 22nd season. The win passed Bill Fitch and finished 10th all-time in NBA history.
"It's a great feeling," said Rivers after the win. "It's not why I train, but it's an honor and it shows you that I've had a lot of success. It also means that I've had a lot of good players and a lot of great coaches."
Rivers has trained Paul Pierce, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Kawhi Leonard among others and is now training two young talents in Philadelphia. Up to his point, he had a lot of talent in his career.
Only two games in the regular season in his Sixers tenure has he influenced the young star duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
"The only thing for me is he believes in us," said Simmons. "He believes in everyone's abilities, he won't lie to you and tell you things you can't do. For me he tells me certain things like tonight, he told me to start aggressively against the rim. If I do and know that he gives this praise and lets me do a good job, it just gives me more confidence to do it over and over to make games for my teammates. "
With a résumé like Rivers', he requires respect and therefore he has the attention of his team.
"He's noisy," said Embiid. “When he speaks, everyone listens. He's just a good trainer even when it comes to X and O. We took the pieces that were drawn a bit from last year, but the stuff that was pulled from timeouts has worked so far. He was great. "
Because of this respect Rivers shows his players, he is able to keep it real with his boys no matter what. He can criticize his boys constructively and they won't be reluctant. They accept it and work on what needs to be improved.
"He'll keep it real with you," added Simmons. "If there are things you need to work on, things he sees out there that you may not see, he'll let you know. This is all about helping each other get better. He does that with everyone, which is great. "
Rivers will look to increase his winnings on Sunday when the Sixers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.
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