PHILADELPHIA — It seemed like an outrageous claim:
“I think I do a terrific job!”
Doc Rivers said this after his basketball team just got demolished by a tepid Heat team in the second round of the playoffs. He said this a year after getting upset in the second round by a mangy kettle of Hawks.
Ridiculous, right? Wrong.
No coach in recent Philadelphia history is less popular at this moment than Doc Rivers. This is a very Philadelphian way to think: He said mean stuff, and he insulted us, so let’s fire him.
Short-sighted, ill-conceived, and, for the moment, ignored by Sixers management. Said president Daryl Morey: “I just think he’s a great coach ... and we’re going to see where this journey takes us.”
Objectively, Rivers’ journey in his first two seasons, while tortuous and bumpy, has been completely acceptable. Unfortunately, he makes it hard to argue in his favor.
He continued, “No one picked us to be anywhere!”
Does this sound like the outrageous claim of a narcoleptic Belgian who believes he invented the question mark?
It does. It isn’t.