24 May, 2023
Four candidates, including two NBA champion coaches, Nick Nurse and Doc Rivers, are moving on to the Phoenix Suns’ final round of interviews this week, sources told ESPN on Tuesday night.
According to reports, Nurse and Rivers will meet with top management together with Suns associate head coach Kevin Young and Sacramento Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez, two up-and-coming coaches.
According to insiders, Nurse has become a well-known candidate in the coaching searches for the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks. According to insiders, Nurse is one of three finalists in Milwaukee, along with Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin and Golden State associate head coach Kenny Atkinson. According to sources, he also had an interview with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Suns are looking for a replacement for former coach Monty Williams, who was fired after the Suns’ loss to the eventual conference champion Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, two of the league’s top players, are part of the Suns’ job pitch.
An NBA championship in 2019, the NBA Coach of the Year Award in 2020, and a 227-163 (.582) record were all part of Nurse’s five seasons as Toronto’s head coach.
In his three seasons, Rivers produced a 154-82 (.653) record, including 54 victories in 2022–23, the highest for the team since 2000–01. According to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, the Sixers were one of three teams in the top 10 in terms of both offensive and defensive efficiency. As a head coach, Rivers has amassed 16 straight winning campaigns.
Young spent eight years as a coach in the G League, holding head coaching positions with the Utah Flash, Iowa Energy, and Delaware 87ers. This year, he has gained traction as a head coaching contender, with openings at the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Suns among those where he is being considered. In recent seasons, Young had interviews for head coaching positions with the Sixers, Utah Jazz, and Washington Wizards.
Before taking over as the associate head coach of the Sacramento Kings in 2022 under NBA Coach of the Year Mike Brown, Fernandez played a prominent role on Michael Malone’s coaching staff throughout the Nuggets’ first six seasons. He was born in Badalona, Spain.