A Pretty Big Woj Bomb was Dropped this Afternoon Concerning the 76ers’ Next Head Coach.
The Philadelphia 76ers have filled their head coaching vacancy by hiring former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. The deal was struck on Monday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Nurse will take over from Doc Rivers, who was fired by the 76ers earlier this month after three seasons with the team.
ESPN Sources: Nick Nurse has reached an agreement to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Nurse — who won an NBA championship and a coach of year award with Toronto — now gets to coach the 2023 MVP Joel Embiid. pic.twitter.com/SrsXhzx7Y3
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 29, 2023
76ers Land a Championship Caliber Coach
Nurse was let go by the Raptors earlier this spring, marking the end of his first head coaching job in the NBA. During his tenure in Toronto, Nurse compiled a record of 227-163 over five seasons. He played a crucial role in leading the Raptors to their first and
only NBA championship in 2019, with a team led by Kawhi Leonard. Nurse was also named the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2020 when the Raptors posted a 53-19 record during the shortened COVID-19 season.
In the most recent season, Nurse and the Raptors finished with a 41-41 record and failed to make the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.
Doc Rivers Could not get the Sixers Over the Top
The decision to part ways with Rivers came after the 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Rivers had a 154-82 record over three seasons in Philadelphia but was unable to guide the team past the conference semifinals, despite having Joel Embiid, the league MVP, as a key player. The 76ers have not reached the conference finals since 2001.
Rivers, a seasoned coach with 24 seasons of experience, previously won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and led them back to the NBA Finals two years later. Prior to his stint in Philadelphia, he spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers remains a top candidate for the remaining open head coaching positions in the league.
With Nurse’s hiring, three head coaching vacancies remain in the NBA. The Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, and Toronto Raptors are still in search of their next head coaches. The Suns parted ways with coach Monty Williams after their playoff exit, while Pistons coach Dwane Casey transitioned into a front-office role after the season concluded.