Nurse, now the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, gave Griffin his first real shot at being an NBA coach in the bubble. Nurse allowed Griffin to coach a game against the Sixers, ironically, and Griffin’s coaching debut came against Nurse and the Sixers.
Before Milwaukee pulled out the 118-117 win on Thursday, Griffin gave a lot of love and respect to Nurse for helping him get to this point.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Nurse,” said Griffin. “I wouldn’t be sitting here without him and the support. He had a tremendous amount for me working for him for five years and we accomplished some special things together so definitely a lot of respect to him.”
Nurse is known for his unorthodox schemes, but he also always has his teams ready to play no matter the circumstance. That was on display on Thursday when the Sixers nearly pulled off the upset despite not having James Harden and being on the road.
Griffin stated that the best way to honor Nurse was to come out swinging.
“I think the way that I honor him is to come out ready and prepared because that’s who he is,” Griffin explained. “He’s the ultimate competitor. We were always prepared going into every game and he held us to high standards. I wouldn’t be here without coach Nurse so I think to honor him is to come out and be ready.”
Griffin is now 1-0 in his coaching career which he owes to Nurse to helping him get to this point and being a big influence for him.
“Again, I wouldn’t be here without Nurse,” Griffin finished. “I’m truly grateful for this opportunity.”