Former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is meeting with Sixers ownership and management this week coming up in regards to the vacant head-coaching position, according to league sources.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 19, 2023
Nurse was one of the six candidates reported after the dismissal of Doc Rivers on Tuesday. The others are Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Frank Vogel and Monty Williams. Nurse will be the first candidate to interview with the Sixers as far as we know.
The 55-year-old took a circuitous route to become the head coach of the Raptors. He spent years coaching at the college ranks and professional leagues domestically and overseas. His journey would eventually take him to the D League (now the G League) where he coached the Rio Grande Valley Vipers from 2011-2013. The Vipers are the affiliate of the Houston Rockets, who were being run by Daryl Morey at the time — so clearly there is a relationship there.
Nurse was an assistant under Dwane Casey in Toronto before taking the Raptors head job in 2018. Sixers fans do not need reminding of what happened that season. Nurse has a championship ring and Coach of the Year award to his name. At his peak, many considered Nurse to be one of the top coaches in the NBA. But Toronto’s struggles over the last three seasons, missing the postseason in two of them, eventually lead to Nurse’s dismissal.
He’d be a fascinating fit with the Sixers. With the Raptors, he was lauded for his creativity on defense and notably giving Joel Embiid fits in the past. Perhaps he can offer Embiid unique ways to counter aggressive double and triple teams.
We’ll have more updates on any potential coaching interviews as they come up.