Joerger returns full time to Sixers staff after cancer treatments originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Sixers assistant coach Dave Joerger returned to the team’s bench Wednesday night on a full-basis basis after stepping away in mid-November for cancer treatments.
Joerger told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Nov. 13 that he had a Stage 1 form of head and neck cancer.
The Sixers said in a statement Wednesday that Joerger’s treatments at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center concluded in mid-December and that he’ll continue his recovery as he rejoins the Sixers staff.
“Words can’t describe how grateful I am to be back around this basketball team,” Joerger said in the team statement. “The last several months have been some of the most challenging of my life, but I am so lucky to have the support of Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey, Elton Brand and the entire 76ers organization. Their support, along with my wife Kimberly, and my loving family, has been unwavering.
“Lastly, I may not be here today if it weren’t for the incredible medical team at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. For now, I’m energized by the trajectory of this 76ers team and am looking forward to helping our group reach the ultimate goal of an NBA championship.”
The Sixers’ coaching staff has not been at full strength often this season. Head coach Doc Rivers and several assistants have spent time in COVID-19 protocols. When Rivers was out, assistant Dan Burke served as acting head coach for two games.
Joerger was unable to communicate vocally for a period during his treatment, Rivers told reporters Wednesday. Rivers has previously leaned on the 47-year-old former Grizzlies and Kings head coach for offensive insight and ideas, as well as in-game communication. He’s glad to have him back.
“He’s been back for two games, kind of,” Rivers told reporters. “He’s gone through a lot, far more than anyone knows. The fact that he’s coaching this year is a miracle. I’d say four weeks ago there was no way he was going to be coaching this year … six weeks ago.
“And the fact that he’s doing it is just really good. It was great to have him last game. He walks out on the floor during our shootaround — unassuming, like Dave is — and guys are like, ‘It’s Dave Joerger.’ It was really cool watching the players’ reactions to it.”
Source: Yahoo Sports