Woj says the Sixers will bring in Dave Joerger as an assistant coach:
Former Kings and Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger has agreed to join Doc Rivers' staff as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2020
Confirmed by others, and it’s a good move.
Joerger had some success as the Grizzlies head coach, taking the Mike Conley/Marc Gasol/Zach Randolph teams to the playoffs in three straight seasons. He left to become the Kings head coach and while the team did not make the playoffs, they improved to 39 wins in his final season, which was a lot better than what Sacramento was in the ten years prior. He started in Memphis as a defensive-minded assistant, and his first two Grizzlies teams as a head coach finished with top-10 defensive ratings. That’s where he’ll make the most impact on this Sixers team, though Rivers is on record showing admiration for Joerger’s more recent offensive evolution, running a Kings squad that pushed the pace with De’Aaron Fox.
Joerger had issues with management and some of his players, on both teams,, which became public knowledge. That’s the main reason why his coaching stints only lasted a few years each, before flaming out. He didn’t have a great relationship with Gasol or Buddy Hield, and so we can probably rule out any trade for the latter. But he’s a strong personality to complement the affable Doc Rivers, and as such, putting Joerger in an assistant role allows him to focus on Xs and Os without having to be the main “guy,” if that makes any sense. Maybe they get a good cop/bad cop thing going on.
It’s worth pointing out that Rivers had good assistants working with him in Boston. Tom Thibodeau, Tyronn Lue (who rejoined him in Los Angeles). Alvin Gentry and Sam Cassell were part of those early Clippers coaching groups, along with Mike Woodson and Lawrence Frank. Rivers has always surrounded himself with quality coaches and strong personalities.