It didn’t take new Nick Nurse long to find a new head coaching job in the NBA.
Five weeks after the Toronto Raptors dismissed him, the Philadelphia 76ers have reached a deal with Nurse to become their next coach, replacing Doc Rivers, a person familiar with the Sixers’ decision confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the Sixers made an official announcement.
Nurse, 55, takes over a team that has championship expectations but has fallen short of that in the Joel Embiid era. The Sixers, who finished with the third-best record in the NBA this season at 54-28, have not advanced beyond the conference semifinals since 2001. They lost to Boston in seven games in the conference semifinals this season.
Nurse led the Toronto Raptors to the 2018-19 championship and was named Coach of the Year in 2019-20. In five seasons with the Raptors, he had a 227-163 record during the regular season and 25-16 record in the playoffs. He is known for his adaptability, creativity and in-game coaching.
Embiid won his first MVP this season, and the Sixers believe he can lead them to a championship. But there is roster uncertainty headed into the summer. James Harden can become a free agent, and there is no guarantee he remains with Philadelphia. The Sixers will be active in free agency and may need to make bigger moves if they lose him, but they still have Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey and P.J. Tucker alongside Embiid.
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