If at first you don’t succeed with one championship head coach, then try again with another one. That’s the saying, right? Well, it might be the magic mantra for the Philadelphia 76ers, who fired Doc Rivers after the team failed to close out the Boston Celtics in the NBA Playoffs. The Sixers could see Nick Nurse as their ideal guide to that elusive climb to the mountaintop.
The former NBA Coach of the Year with the Toronto Raptors will meet with Philly to discuss the position, via ClutchPoints (originally Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey). With three NBA title-winning head coaches being dismissed recently, there is a decent chance one replaces the other just based on the market availability. Experience might be much more appealing to the Sixers rather than hiring a first-year coach.
Nurse could be the perfect replacement for Rivers because he has already accomplished the very thing the organization is seeking. Supplant a head coach who can’t win the big one and lift the team to the title. Of course, Rivers himself did arrive with a ring from his time leading the Big Three Celtics, but the franchise has plateaued.
Nurse also overstayed his welcome in Toronto and could use a new environment. He could be rejuvenated by coaching the MVP in Joel Embiid and a young dynamo in Tyrese Maxey. Much of the remaining roster is packed with uncertainty, but those are two scintillating pieces to build around. Nurse effectively melded all of the Raptors’ supplementary parts together in 2019. When Kawhi Leonard left, so too did the franchise’s championship ceiling.
That should not be the case in Philadelphia. The Sixers are still in the early stages of their coaching search, but Nick Nurse’s résumé should make quite the impression when the two sides meet later this week.