One of the key moves the Philadelphia 76ers made in their massive changeover this offseason was coaching. After nearly a decade with Brett Brown as head coach, the two sides decided it was time to part ways.
Fortunately for the Sixers, an A-list head coach would become available. After a disappointing playoff exit, the Clippers also decided it was time to part ways with their long-time head coach in Doc Rivers.
It is not every day that a Hall of Fame head coach becomes available, and the Sixers did not waste any time. Days later, it was announced that Rivers would be coming to Philadelphia to be the new head coach of the Sixers.
In just his first season, Rivers has already had a large impact on the team. The Sixers have a chance to finish as the Eastern Conference's top seed, and Joel Embiid is in the running to win MVP.
Multiple players have spoken up this season about what Rivers has been able to do for this team. Most recently would be Furkan Korkmaz.
After shootaround this past Friday, Korkmaz opened up on what it's been like for him playing under Rivers this season.
"He's teaching us something new every day. He knows how to handle the players, how to manage the players. Sometimes he can be your big brother, sometimes he can be your dad, sometimes he can be your teammate," said Korkmaz.
Winning over a locker room is not easy, but it's clear that Rivers has been able to do so in Philadelphia. His philosophies and ideologies of the game have been able to resonate within this group.
The 23-year-old also spoke on how the work Rivers has done motivates him more as a player.
"I think it's really important as a coach for your players to love you, and at the same time respect you. It's hard to create it. I think that's what he created this year. Everybody respects him. Everybody loves him. As a player, you motivate more to play good for him," Korkmaz said on Friday.
The Sixers were in dire need of a culture change after last season, and it looks like Rivers has done well leading it. Hearing players talk about how they want to play harder for Rivers is a great sign as this group prepares for what should be a deep postseason run.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.