Doc Rivers has given his candid thoughts on he and James Harden’s relationship during his time as head coach of the Sixers.
Rivers was fired from the top job after Philadelphia’s loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
Earlier this year, it was being reported that Harden may have even had a hand in Rivers’ firing, but those claims are yet to verified.
Before he was let go, Doc coached Harden at Philly for a season and a half and has described their relationship as “neutral”.
“It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good. It was pretty much neutral,” Rivers said on NBA Today. “It was an honest relationship at the end of the day. I was very honest. I really believe there’s ways you have to play to win and, obviously, I was never willing to compromise on that. It was a relationship of communication. I can tell you, we talked when we needed to talk all the time.”
Rivers has openly spoken about the relationship before, but none of it was very positive.
“It was challenging, more because we were fighting two things—and not like visually fighting—it was James is so good at playing one way, and the way I believe you have to play to win, in some ways, is different,” Rivers told Bill Simmons last June.
It is clear the lack of chemistry between the two bled onto the court, since Philadelphia were unable to make it past the ECF for the third consecutive season.
Although, maybe Harden was the one causing more problems than Doc.