The 76ers have selected a former rival from the Atlantic Division to be their new head coach.
Nick Nurse, who recently parted company with the Raptors after spending ten years there as an assistant and head coach, has reached an agreement with Philadelphia, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The working relationship between Nurse and Embiid will be crucial to Philadelphia’s success because the All-NBA center, who is under contract at least through the 2025–26 season, is the team’s face. Given what Embiid has said in the past about his new coach, their first encounter might be a little awkward.
Nurse complained about how Embiid was handled by the officials after the Raptors lost Game 1 of their first-round series against the 76ers. He said that Embiid elbowed several Toronto players and that more fouls should have been called.
So, Embiid and Nurse spoke around the conclusion of Game 2. Embiid stated, “I told him, respectfully, I told him to stop b—ing about calls.”
The Sixers went on to win the series in six games.
After tallying 28 points in a 104-101 victory over Toronto, Embiid lauded De’Anthony Melton for maintaining his composure and making crucial 3-pointers when Philadelphia needed them.
Additionally, he attacked the Raptors, saying they “don’t care about winning.”
“They just want to shut down the other star players,” Embiid said. “But when you play that, you got to be ready all night. You got to stay alert and have the confidence of just keep shooting it and hope that you make them when they come, and that’s what [Melton] did tonight.”
After Game 1 of the 76ers’ first-round series, Embiid heard complaints about the officials, just like he had the year before. He was successful in slipping a jab at Nurse into his response to Nets coach Jacque Vaughn.
“I saw after the game last time, they kind of took the Nick Nurse route of begging for free throws and calling out the referees,” Embiid said. “Then they come out, and they got a lot of calls, which I guess is good for them.”