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Keith Pompey | Philadelphia 76ers Insider; The Philly Inquirer

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The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2023 6:10 am

Keith Pompey | Philadelphia 76ers Insider; The Philly Inquirer

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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May 18, 2023 6:10 am

Philly Inquirer 76ers reporter Keith Pompey joins the show to talk the firing of Doc Rivers, James Harden's future with the team, and all of Joel Embiid's wants and desires.

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$10 minimum per order. Additional terms apply. Keith, what did you make of Daryl Morey's comments and his explanation about the doc decision? You know, afterwards I left that, after you know, listening with that, Daryl had to say I left with more questions than answers, you know. It seemed like to me, like you said, a eulogy for docs.

But you know, for instance, he said this was my decision and this and that. Well, I mean, everyone thinks that, and from certain people are saying it, Doc felt like James Harden is the reason why he got fired. He felt like James got fired. And to me, it just felt like Daryl, you know, was trying to cover up something if there was something to that. You know what I mean?

So I walked away with more questions than answers, if that makes sense to you. Keith, why would people think James Harden got Doc Rivers fired when James Harden is a free agent who's opting out of his deal? I mean, simple. Well, like if James Harden wants to, if the Sixers want to keep James Harden, James Harden would love to play for a coach who will, you know, make better use of his skill set. I mean, if you look at it, when James Harden said this is what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to opt out, I'm going to opt out of that $35.6 million, but I want to go to a place that's going to give me a freedom to play where I want to where I want to play. And when you look at it, the 76ers offense was geared towards Joel Embiid being the first option and everything was set up to him. So, you know, James, you know, would like to go somewhere where he could be, I guess, maybe closer to the Houston James or where he can be the focal point and they could spread the floor and people feed off of him. But in Philadelphia, it was more about, you know, James, you're going to be the facilitator and what we're going to do is we're going to make sure that we go out, we're going to run our offense and Joel Embiid. Is it Doc Rivers fault that James Harden shot one for 11 from three-point land in the last two games of the series?

Nope, not at all, not at all. And with that, I think that Doc became the fall guy, right? You look at it, sometimes your history kind of, you know, like the analogy I want to say is there's a guy who who's been arrested several times before for maybe shoplifting and then he goes into the store and somebody says, hey, there's a shoplifter in here and then the cops come and arrest him and it wasn't him, it was someone else. Well, I think that Doc's problem was that his inability to get out of the second round and all those other years kind of like caught up to him, but he wasn't the problem.

The problem was, like you said, James Harden struggling a shot, you know, James Harden had arguably his worst game in game seven. And I think that you look at it and you say, yo, this is the tenth time in a row that Doc couldn't get out of the second round, let's get rid of him. So I feel like, yeah, it wasn't his fault this time, but he was the easy person to let go. It was the easy choice to let him go.

Right, he was the most expendable. That certainly seems to be the case with a bunch of veteran coaches. Keith Pompey is with us from the Philadelphia Inquirer in the wake of more changes with the Sixers.

It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Do the Sixers want James Harden back enough to pay him a max deal? You know what, that's the million dollar question and we're talking about millions of dollars, right?

That's the question. I didn't mean no pun intended, but the thing is, and the reason why I'm saying it is because I think James kind of sort of has the Sixers under a barrel and it's just because when you look at it, let's just say you made this trade for Ben Simmons, right? And Ben Simmons is struggling in Brooklyn and we all get that, but you also gave up a draft pick to Brooklyn. Now you don't have any cap space. So if you lose James Harden, who are your point guard options to come in here?

And can you get someone? Like you really don't. So I feel like, and the fact that, you know, we're hearing this stuff about Houston, you know, I feel like the Sixers have to think long and hard about this because A, if James leaves, it's going to be a bad look. But then if you give him so much money, like a max deal, what is he going to look like three to four years from now? So that's a tough question, but at the same time, they don't have any other options out there.

They just don't, they don't have any draft pick. The Sixers are in a bad situation right now and it seems like James is about ready to take advantage of that. Any idea what Joel Embiid wants, other than winning, of course?

You know, as far as, you know, I think, you know, I, you know, that's a great question. I think Joel was extremely happy with what he had in Doc Rivers. I mean, you know, he became a guy who developed and turned into the MVP and each year he's gotten better. You know, I think that, you know, it was funny beforehand, before Doc became the coach, Joel was high on them hiring Mike Cantoni, right?

But I don't know how that's going to work now. Now let's say he could still love it, but at the same time, it's going to be under different circumstances. You know, I think Joel would love for things to stay kind of like the same where he's the focal point, but he would also love someone that's going to be able to get them out of the second round.

But maybe I'm not answering your question because I haven't spoken to him lately, but it just seems as if that, I think, the situation they were in, Joel enjoyed it. It was just a matter of, they just couldn't win the big one. Like, things just didn't go their way. He didn't stay healthy. I mean, he felt like that they had a chance to win the way things were, but he wasn't healthy.

People struggled late in the playoffs and Joel was like thinking, like, hey, if we did a lot of things right, if guys would have made shots, we would have possibly moved on and been able to play for the championship. I just have about 30 seconds, Keith, but knowing what you know of this team, I do find the irony in the fact that Mike Budenholzer and Monte Williams may interview for the job, but what do you think is the right coaching fit? You know, that's a good one.

You know, it's weird. I think maybe Nick Nurse could be the right fit. I do. I think Nick Nurse to be the right fit championship coach and, you know, I think he's a great X and O's guy. I think he didn't get a lot of credit because of Kawhi and the situations that happened in Toronto afterwards, but he's a very good coach, a very good coach. Interesting. I like that answer and as you point out, there are a bunch of championship coaches that are available. That's the crazy part. All right, you can find Keith Pompeii on Twitter at Pompeii, P-O-M-P-E-Y, on Sixers. Covers them for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Not a dull moment this off season, that is for sure. Keith, thank you for a couple of minutes this morning live and we will talk to you again soon. All right, thank you.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 08:56:13 / 2023-05-18 09:00:24 / 4

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