by Davin Haley (8th grade)
The upcoming 2023-24 NBA season is already looking great. The San Antonio Spurs
could be saved with Victor Wembanyama. The Boston Celtics could be dismantled. And for the Sixers... they are welcoming their third new head coach in the past decade. Former Toronto Raptor, Nick Nurse.
Nurse’s name might be familiar if you were a Sixers or Raptors fan back in 2019 when
Kawhi Leonard hit the buzzer beater to kick the Sixers out of the second round. The coach of that eventual finals winning team was Nick Nurse.
The 2020 coach of the year winner
concluded his deal last Thursday after former
Sixers coach Doc Rivers and his team lost to the Celtics in game seven of round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. Nurse is joining the Sixers with 227 career wins under his belt and 25 playoff wins.
In 2 of his 5 seasons with the Raptors, Nurse made the playoffs and only won the championship one of the five seasons.
Do not be deceived by only one finals win as before that 2018-19 the Raptors were never
really on a teams mind as being contenders for a finals appearance until Nurse began his head coaching job on the Raptors. This effect could happen to the Sixers and make them a feared team that could get to the conference finals.
Throughout the interviews in the past week as a Sixers head coach, Nurse seems very
excited to work with the Sixers, especially 2022-23 MVP Joel Embiid. Nurse has had quite the history with Embiid whether it be throwing words around, or a double team defense. He sees how Embiid really wants a championship and he will try to get the Sixers to that point.
Nurse is a firm believer that the whole Sixers roster is capable of having games where
they can perform well which could mean that he will try to play most of their roster every game.
Playing most of the roster is something that former coach Doc Rivers did not do which could
have been a factor of the Sixers' messy playing in game seven of round 2 this past season.
Sixers guard Tyreese Maxey also gives Nurse excitement to coach. Nurse said in an
interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia “He (Maxey) keeps getting a lot better. Not a little bit
better, he keeps getting a lot better almost every time you see the guy” Nurse sees the quick
improvement Maxey can bring to the team and sees it as an advantage to get him on the court and use his talent to improve his skills and development.
Nurse hopes that the hard work his Sixers are going to put in this upcoming season will
resonate with the fans and give drive to the players to really work hard to hopefully lead them to a Finals appearance and possibly a win.
As a SIxers fan myself I am very excited to see what this season as well as the future of
the Sixers will bring. This may be the brightest the team's future has looked since 2019 and all we can do is sit back and enjoy the next season of Sixers basketball.
"Nick Nurse." Getty Images. Published May 29., 2023. Accessed June 9, 2023. https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nick-nurse-agrees-to-become-76ers-new-head-coach-per-report/