The Philadelphia 76ers have made a decision for their next head coach: Nick Nurse. After a long search that included five other candidates, the Sixers have decided to hire the former Toronto Raptors head coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Nurse will be the 26th head coach in Sixers franchise history, taking over for Doc Rivers. In five years with the Raptors, Nurse posted a record of 227-163 and led them to the 2019 NBA championship.
The 55-year-old native of Carroll, Iowa won the Coach of the Year award in the 2019-20 season and has become known for his defensive schemes and slim rotations.
Nurse was a candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns in their search for a head coach. He pulled his name out of consideration with the Bucks before they hired Adrian Griffin, one of his assistants from Toronto. Now, he lands in Philadelphia trying to help Joel Embiid and the team make a deep playoff run.
Leading up to the report of the hiring, there has been plenty of buzz linking Nurse and the Sixers as they go about their coaching search.
Nurse spent two seasons coaching the Houston Rockets' G League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, during Daryl Morey's tenure as the lead decision-maker. He was rumored to be one of the main frontrunners to land the job during Philly's search.
Embiid previously said he is a fan of Nurse but has also had some squabbles with him and the way he coaches. When the Sixers and Raptors faced off in the 2022 NBA playoffs, Embiid and Nurse had a back-and-forth about the officiating.
This past December, Embiid said that the Raptors play like they care less about winning than they do about stopping the opposing team's star.
Regardless of past incidents and coaching decisions that don't seem to fit an Embiid-led roster, Nick Nurse is type of resolute tactician that can get the results the Sixers want.