After three seasons in charge and failing to get past the conference semifinals, the Philadelphia 76ers made the difficult decision to fire head coach Doc Rivers this week. While their playoff struggles undoubtedly played a part, it appears Daryl Morey’s good buddy James Harden was a “driving force” behind Rivers losing his job.

Via Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports:

“Several members of Rivers’ staff, sources said, have pointed to All-Star point guard James Harden — whom league personnel is expecting to decline his player option in search of a long-term contract — as a driving force behind Rivers’ departure.”

So, the belief from several coaches on Rivers’ staff is that Harden wanted the veteran HC gone. If it’s true, he got his wish. The Beard revealed after the Sixers’ brutal Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics that his relationship with Rivers is just “OK”. The guard didn’t elaborate much more. Clearly, there was something more going on behind closed doors.

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While Philly is now in search of their next bench boss, it remains to be seen if Harden will re-sign. He’s widely expected to decline his $35.6 million player option in the hopes of securing a long-term deal, whether that be in the City of Brotherly Love or elsewhere. A reunion with the Houston Rockets has even been discussed time and time again.

James Harden was reportedly not too happy with his role in the offense under Doc, too. Considering his relationship with Morey from their days in Houston though, there is definitely a good chance the organization pays up. But on the other hand, it remains to be seen if he and Joel Embiid can take the Sixers all the way after back-to-back early exits in the postseason.

Some big decisions to make for Philadelphia this summer in more ways than one.