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Nick Nurse would bring plenty of experience to Sixers, but is he right fit?

Doc Rivers fired: Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey holds press conference
Doc Rivers fired: Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey holds press conference 24:59

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Sixers are searching for their 26th head coach in franchise history to replace Doc Rivers, who was fired last week following the team's second round loss to the Boston Celtics. 

In our series of diving into Sixers head coaching candidates, we'll continue with one who has faced off against Philadelphia in the playoffs multiple times: former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. 

RELATED READING: Could former Villanova head coach Jay Wright be Sixers' answer?

Yahoo Sports reports Nurse is on a short-list of candidates under consideration by the Sixers.  

Who is Nick Nurse? 

Nurse, 55, is a Carroll, Iowa, native who has jumped around coaching hoops in several spots since 1989. 

Nurse got his first full-time head coaching gig at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, when he was just 23 years old in 1991. He was the youngest college basketball coach in the country at the time. 

Four years later, Nurse traveled across the pond. He spent 11 years coaching in Europe, where he mostly coached in the British Basketball League. He won two BBL championships during his time overseas -- in 1996 with the Birmingham Bullets and in 2000 with the Manchester Giants.

Nurse was named the BBL Coach of the Year in the 1999-2000 and 2003-04 seasons. 

After his time in Europe, Nurse returned to the United States as an assistant with the Oklahoma Storm (United States Basketball League) in 2001 and 2005 before becoming the head coach of the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League (now called the G-League) in 2007.

Nurse won two titles in the D-League. The first came in the 2010-11 season with Iowa and the second in the 2012-13 season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He was named NBA D-League Coach of the Year twice in six seasons. 

In 2013, Nurse became an assistant with the Raptors under former head coach Dwayne Casey.

Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Two
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Five years later, Nurse became the head coach of the Raptors after Casey was fired. 

In Nurse's first season at the helm, the Raptors acquired Kawhi Leonard in the offseason and won their first NBA Finals in franchise history. As we all know, they edged the Sixers in a grueling seven-game series where Leonard hit the quadruple "doink" to send Philadelphia home in the second round. 

The Raptors never made it back to the conference finals after winning the title. Nurse was fired after Toronto failed to make the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.

Overall, Nurse, who was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2020, finished his five seasons with the Raptors 227-163, including three playoff appearances. 

Does Nurse make sense for Sixers? 

Nurse has an impressive résumé. He worked his way up the coaching ladder and had success in pretty much every place he coached, overseas and in the States. 

Nurse would bring a different mindset to the Sixers' bench than Rivers had during the past three seasons. 

Since Nurse became the head of the Raptors, he was never afraid to be different and try new tactics. Whether it's a box-and-one or other defensive schemes, Nurse didn't shy away from experimenting with his lineups. His defenses in Toronto were known for frustrating Joel Embiid over the years.

Experimenting new looks was one of the many knocks during Rivers' time in Philly.

Nurse is also known for his ability to develop talent during his time in Toronto. Maybe he's able to help unlock more from Tyrese Maxey's game and take it to the next level? How about De'Anthony Melton? 

But, Nurse does have his flaws. He got plenty of criticism over the past year for playing his starters heavy minutes through the regular season, and his leadership style was also questioned. 

Nurse would bring plenty of playoff experience to a team that needs to get over the hump and past the second round, even though his teams never made it past the semifinals after winning the title. It also doesn't hurt Nurse has a previous working relationship with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. 

When Nurse was the head coach of the Vipers, part of the Houston Rockets' organization, Morey was the team's general manager. 

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