Nick Nurse discussed why he chose the Philadelphia 76ers head coaching job over the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks
The Philadelphia 76ers made their first move of the offseason last week by announcing Nick Nurse as their new head coach. Yesterday, the announcement came official and Nurse spoke with the media in Camden, New Jersey.
Nick Nurse took the 76ers’ head coaching job with two other jobs left on the table with the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks. Both the Suns and Bucks are definitely in a better position to win the NBA Finals heading into next season, so the fact that Nurse chose the Sixers over both was surprising to a lot of people.
Nick Nurse discussed his decision to come to Philadelphia yesterday.
“There’s several things you’re evaluating,” said Nurse. “First of all, I know it’s a good team because I’ve been in the trenches trying to battle you guys a lot and it had been a pretty good rivalry having saw each other a lot in the playoffs and stuff as well–certainly a big factor and then what I think is most important is ownership.” via SixersWire
As we all know, Nurse and Embiid have a pretty detailed history of competing against each other in the NBA Playoffs and while they didn’t get along when they were on opposing teams, Nurse was clearly excited at the thought to be coaching Embiid here in Philadelphia.
Nurse on his relationship with Daryl Morey and their time spent together with the Houston
“They always say do your research and everything I hear is super positive and I know Daryl and Daryl’s track record of putting together players and putting together a roster that can compete for the title speaks for itself,” Nurse added. “That’s what made it a fairly easy decision in the end.” via SixersWire
It will be interesting to see what the next move is for the Philadelphia 76ers. James Harden is rumored to be heading back to Houston in free agency and that he’s in search of a 4-year, $200 million contract.
While Harden certainly brings a lot to the floor for the Sixers completing a deadly (regular season) duo with the back-to-back scoring champion and now reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, at 33-years old I really don’t see how the Sixers’ could offer him the contract he’s looking for.
The playoffs with Harden, while he shined in two out of the seven games against the Boston Celtics, were ultimately a disaster when the Sixers’ needed him most in Game 6 and Game 7.
The goal of finally getting out of the second round of the NBA playoffs failed. James Harden was a major part in the failure, and honestly, I believe that the Sixers would be wise to move on from him and focus a 1-year rebuild around Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid until more money is available following the 2023-24 season.