After the Philadelphia 76ers lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the front office quickly fired head coach Doc Rivers. Doc didn’t deserve to be fired solely because the Sixers blew up the series, however, it wasn’t too surprising that the organization was ready to move on. This made Philly one of five NBA teams looking for a new head coach.
The search for a Philadelphia 76ers head coach is over.
On Monday afternoon, it was announced that the Sixers had reached an agreement with Nick Nurse to become the franchise’s next head coach.
Nurse was most recently the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, whom he led to their first NBA championship in franchise history in 2019. With the departure of Kawhi Leonard after winning the title, the Raptors were in no man’s land in the middle of the Eastern Conference. Last season, they finished ninth in the East with a 41-41 record and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Chicago Bulls.
Nurse was fired by the Raptors at the end of that season in a move that felt more mutual than announced. Rumors about Masai Ujiri, the president of the Raptors, and the players who pounced on Nurse surfaced near the end of his tenure, and it seemed inevitable that Nurse’s days in Toronto were numbered.
Can Nurse give the Philadelphia 76ers an NBA championship?
The question now is, can Nurse end the 40-year championship drought in the City of Brotherly Love? He has a squad that has the talent to win a 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 winning a championship matters to veterans.
Nurse is also recognized as a great player development coach who works well with young players; in Toronto they were Scottie Barnes, OG Annunoby and Chris Boucher. This skill set is crucial and should help Tyrese Maxey grow into the superstar he has the potential to become. It is not yet known if Nurse is the long-awaited leader who will complete the Process. He’s arguably the best head coach available to the Sixers, and that seems like a win for today!