The Philadelphia 76ers are set to begin the 2023-24 season on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday and begin a new era under coach Nick Nurse. The Sixers brought Nurse in to help them get over the hump in the Eastern Conference after three consecutive Round 2 exits under Doc Rivers.
Philadelphia didn’t make any big and splashy additions in the offseason like the Bucks did or the Boston Celtics did, but they were able to add to their depth.
One of those moves is Kelly Oubre Jr. The Sixers brought in the veteran out of Kansas on a deal late in the free agency period and he is hungry to begin his time in Philadelphia.
“I’m starving so I would say so, but that’s for give or take, right?” Oubre Jr. told reporters. “You got a lot of highs and lows in this sport and it’s about being consistent and figuring out that middle ground and that silver lining. I’m starving. I’m not gonna say too much about that and I think a lot of people will see that.”
Oubre Jr. has not been able to experience much winning basketball in his career. He has only played the playoffs twice in his time in the NBA both with the Washington Wizards in 2017 and 2018. Playing for a winning coach like Nurse and with a talented team like the Sixers should be able to get him more developed as a basketball player.
“Coach Nick is a really good leader,” Oubre Jr. added. “He articulates what he wants from us and makes it really simple for us to be able to go out there and execute. I’m excited to continue to learn to elevate my game, myself, and my basketball knowledge through him because he is who he is for a reason, right? He’s a great and I’m excited to learn and play for a great coach.”
As for the James Harden situation, The Beard did return to practice on Wednesday after being away from the team due to a personal matter. His return did not bother Oubre Jr. and the Sixers as they continued to move forward with preparation for opening night.
“Regular day for us,” he stated. “We got started at 11. Nothing really shifted, nothing changed. Everything was what it was. We have a game to play tomorrow. So we’ve all been locked in and focused on that one goal and going about going about everything being professional is the only way we can. I wouldn’t even say that it affected anything. Today (Wednesday) was a great day. We got better.”