The Philadelphia 76ers have found their next head coach.
The 76ers negotiated the hiring of former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse on Monday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Nurse will replace Doc Rivers in Philadelphia, who was fired earlier this month after three seasons with the franchise.
Nurse was fired by the Toronto Raptors earlier this spring, marking the end of his first job as a head coach in the league. Nurse went 227-163 in five seasons in Toronto, and he helped lead the franchise to its first and only NBA title in 2019 — when he and Kawhi Leonard defeated the Golden State Warriors. The 55-year-old from Iowa was also named the league’s Coach of the Year in 2020, when the Raptors went 53-19 during the shortened COVID-19 season.
Nurse and the Raptors went 41-41 this season, and missed the playoffs for the second time in the past three seasons.
The 76ers fired Rivers earlier this month after they were eliminated in the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Rivers went 154-82 in three seasons in Philadelphia, but failed to make the conference semifinals in all three seasons despite leading a team built around league MVP Joel Embiid. The 76ers haven’t been to the conference finals since 2001.
Rivers, 61, has spent 24 seasons as a head coach in the league since 1999, when he started with the Orlando Magic. He won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, and they returned to the NBA Finals again twice in the next four years. Before landing in Philadelphia, Rivers spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. He is one of the few top candidates still being considered for the league’s remaining open jobs.
With Nurse’s hiring in Philadelphia, there are now three remaining head coaching jobs open in the league. The Detroit Pistons, the Phoenix Suns and the Raptors are still looking for a new head coach. The Suns fired coach Monty Williams after they were eliminated from the playoffs earlier this month, and Pistons coach Dwane Casey opted to move to the front office after their season ended.