Following the Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 7 Eastern Conference Semifinals loss to the Boston Celtics, the front office was quick to fire head coach Doc Rivers. Doc did not deserve to be fired solely based on the Sixers blowing this series, however, it was not overly surprising the organization was ready to move on. This made Philly one of five NBA teams looking for a new head coach.
The Philadelphia 76ers head coaching search is over.
On Monday afternoon it was announced that the Sixers had reached an agreement with Nick Nurse to become the next head coach of the franchise.
Nurse was most recently the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, who he led to their first NBA Championship in franchise history in 2019. Following the departure of Kawhi Leonard after winning a Championship, the Raptors have been in a no man’s land in the middle of the Eastern Conference. This past season they finished ninth in the East with a record of 41-41 and lost in the first round of the Play-In Tournament to the Chicago Bulls.
Nurse was let go by the Raptors at the end of this season in a move that seemed more mutual than it was announced. Rumors about Masai Ujiri, Raptors President, and players souring on Nurse came out towards the end of his tenure and it seemed inevitable that Nurse’s days in Toronto were numbered.
Can Nurse bring the Philadelphia 76ers an NBA Championship?
The question now becomes, can Nurse end a 40-year Championship drought in the City of Brotherly Love? He has a roster that has the talent to win the Conference led by reigning MVP, Joel Embiid. Nurse’s experience with All-Star caliber players like Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry should help him in Philly assuming James Harden returns alongside Embiid. And having won a Championship carries weight with veteran players.
Nurse is also credited with being a great player development coach that works well with young players; in Toronto, this included Scottie Barnes, OG Annunoby, and Chris Boucher. That skillset is key and should help Tyrese Maxey grow into the superstar that he has the potential to become. Whether Nurse is the long-awaited leader to complete The Process is yet to be seen. He is likely the best coaching candidate available to the Sixers and this feels like a win for today!