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Report: Former Suns assistant Bryan Gates joining Philadelphia coaching staff

Bryan Gates joined the Dallas staff earlier this month from Phoenix, but will instead be coming to Philadelphia.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

New Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse continues to fill out his staff. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, former Phoenix Suns assistant Bryan Gates will be coming to Philaelphia.

You may notice Gates is referred to as Dallas Mavericks assistant coach, as he actually accepted a position there earlier this month. After a few weeks in Texas, Gates will instead be coming to the City of Brotherly Love due to what Woj termed ‘a significant step up in role’. Gates spent the last two seasons in Phoenix, and previously spent time on the payroll in Minnesota, Sacramento, and New Orleans. He also won back-to-back G League Coach of the Year awards in 2006-07 and 2007-08 with the Idaho Stampede. Nurse won that same award a few years later in 2010-11 with the Iowa Energy.

Prior to crossing paths in the G League, Nurse worked as an assistant under then-head coach Bryan Gates with the USBL’s Oklahoma Storm during the 2001 season. Here’s an excerpt from a 2014 CBS Sports article reflecting on that time with Oklahoma:

“On another trip, Gates and Nurse left Oklahoma with the team at 4 a.m. and drove to Wichita, Kan., for a flight to Newark, N.J. They won a game that night and allowed themselves a brief moment of celebration before heading back on the road.

“What a day,” Nurse said. “We woke up and the sun was rising over the great plains of Kansas. We won a basketball game and watched the sun set over the Statue of Liberty.”

Nurse and Gates certainly have a history that goes way back. We’ll see what Gates brings to the table as part of Nurse’s staff in Philadelphia.

While this is not yet official, it looks like Matt Brase will be another addition to the assistant coaching group.

There’s a direct Daryl Morey connection here in addition to Nurse. Prior to coaching in Italy, Brase was an assistant on the Houston Rockets’ staff from 2018-20, and he was head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League from 2015-18. Brase was an assistant with the Vipers in 2012-13 when Nurse was head coach of the team.

We’ll keep you apprised of future coaching developments. Gates and Brase hopefully have a good handle on how to work with centers.

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