Nick Nurse To Become the New Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach

Nick Nurse will become the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers fired coach Doc Rivers after a game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Nurse was also fired by the Toronto Raptors after the team lost in the Play-In tournament to the Chicago Bulls. That was a very unexpected move by the Raptors’ front office after Nurse led the team to the NBA championship back in 2019.

Nick Nurse
Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

The Sixers had a solid regular season finishing third in the Eastern Conference with a 54-28 record. Joel Embiid led the league in scoring for the second consecutive season and won the MVP award becoming the first Sixers player to do so since Allen Iverson back in 2001. They had a promising start of the Playoffs sweeping the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round and then having a 3-2 lead against the Celtics and the home court advantage in the following game. However, the Sixers failed short again and Rivers, who lost his fifth consecutive Game 7, paid the bill for that.

Nurse had a difficult season with the Raptors who finished 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 41-41 record. The teams’ best player Pascal Siakam missed significant time with an injury and the Raptors just did not find their identity. Still, they made it to the Play-In tournament and had a 19-point lead against the Chicago Bulls but could not close out the game.

Nurse joined the Raptors in 2013 and spent 5 seasons as an assistant coach. In 2018, he was appointed as the Raptors head coach after Dwane Casey was fired. In his first season as a head coach, Nurse led the Raptors to the NBA championship defeating the Golden State Warriors in the finals following a Game 7 buzzer-beater by Kawhi Leonard in the series against the Sixers.

In the 2019-2020 season, the Raptors finished with a 53-19 record despite Leonard’s departure. Nurse was named the head coach of the Eastern Conference at the All-Star game and won the Coach of the Year award later that season. However, the Raptors could not go deep into the Playoffs as they lost in the second round to the Boston Celtics in seven games.

After that season, the Raptors sighed Nurse to a multi-year contract which made his firing even more surprising.

Nurse has a very interesting life story and had a long way to become an NBA coach. He played only one professional season with the Derby Rams where he was also the head coach at the time. He coached a couple of England and Belgium teams before moving to the United States. After a couple of seasons in the G-League where he also won the championship, Nurse made it to the NBA.

He is taking over the Sixers and will be under pressure to provide results right away. The team’s main target is keeping James Harden who has a $35.6 million player option on his contract with the Sixers for the next season.

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