PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers hired coach Nick Nurse on Monday, following his exit from Toronto Raptors, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the team had not announced the move.
Nurse led the Raptors to the 2019 NBA championship after they beat the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Nurse will replace Doc Rivers, who was fired after he led the 76ers to their second straight 50-win season behind NBA MVP Joel Embiid but again failed to lead them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The 76ers held a 3-2 semifinals series lead against Boston before dropping Game 6 at home and were crushed in Game 7 on the road.
Nurse went 227-163 in his five seasons as coach in Toronto, where his .582 winning percentage ranks as the best of any coach in Raptors history. He also spent five years as an assistant to former Raptors coach Dwane Casey before taking over the top job.
Nurse played at Northern Iowa, then started his coaching career there as an assistant. He wound up becoming a head coach at Grand View University when he was just 23. He coached in Belgium and Britain — winning a pair of British Basketball League titles as a coach in Birmingham in 1996 and London in 2000 — then got a couple of titles in what is now called the G League.
The second G League crown got Nurse noticed. He guided Rio Grande Valley to a title in 2013, and that’s when the Raptors called and wanted to talk to him about offense. They ended up hiring him as an assistant, and he’d been with Toronto ever since.