Nick Nurse, who was recently fired in Toronto after winning the NBA title in 2021, is a defensive specialist, which is what the Sixers need.
By Peter Gleason
Just in case you are among those who believe the Sixers coaching job isn’t worth anything to those who might fill it, read why Yahoo Sports begs to disagree, ranking it 3rd amog 5:
Doc Rivers’ replacement will walk into a team headlined by reigning MVP Joel Embiid, coming off the best season of his career and under contract for at least the next three years. (Embiid holds a $58.2 million player option for the 2026-27 season.)
That, combined with ascendant (and now extension-eligible) guard Tyrese Maxey and a creative front office led by president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, gives you a better starting point from which to win games, and potentially contend, right off the bat than you’d find in Detroit or Toronto.
Plus, while a delightfully basketball-mad city wants nothing more than to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2001 and to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy for the first time since 1983, two decades’ worth of seasons ending before the final eight do provide the incoming head coach some wiggle room.
After watching Rivers and Brett Brown combine to fall short in Round 2 five times in six years, the coach who can just make it to the conference finals will likely find himself feted as a conquering hero. Unlike in Phoenix or Milwaukee, where “championship or bust” is now the standard, in Philly there’s one more rung on the ladder to climb that could constitute a successful season, even if you don’t get all the way to the top.