Sixers’ Nick Nurse, Daryl Morey expand on their close relationship

CAMDEN, N.J.–The Philadelphia 76rs brought in Nick Nurse to replace Doc Rivers as their new head coach. Nurse is a guy who has shown he can be an innovative thinker and a guy who can be creative in order to help push his teams forward.

Tasked with taking over the Toronto Raptors before the 2018-19 season, Nurse led Toronto to a title in his first season. Of course, he was aided by Kawhi Leonard and the fact that LeBron James left the Eastern Conference, but he was terrific in motivating his players and putting them in the right spots to succeed.

Nurse also has a history with Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey. Nurse was the head coach of the Houston Rockets G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, from 2011-13 while Morey was in Houston’s front office.

“For me, I was coaching the Iowa Energy at the time in the old D-League, now the G League, it’s my home state, but I was interested in going to work with Daryl once we started talking,” Nurse explained. “It was a lot of analytical things, innovative ideas, etc., and that kinda really triggered me. I thought it would be a chance for me to grow as a coach and I can just remember some of the things that he’s been there. Like use that as a laboratory.”

Morey allowed Nurse to just use the Vipers as sort of a creative basketball experiment. Nurse then took those ideas with him to the Raptors to make sure they were successful.

“We’re gonna try this and try that and I think that’s kinda what I’ve been doing in some of the other places I’ve been coaching,” said the new Sixers coach. “Just trying things and when they work, just keep them in our toolbox and when they don’t work, we crumple them up and get rid of them right away, but he encouraged innovation and creativity and trying to find a better way to do things so that’s what triggered me to go there originally.”


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Morey then expanded on his relationship with Nurse.

“I just think, thinking back to that time, we were looking for a lot of what we are looking for now which is a partner who you can define an objective and say he is a creative basketball mind to see how to achieve that,” said Morey. “Whether it be tactical things on the floor or certain ways to construct a roster that obviously everyone’s fighting for the same cap, tax resources where you have to fit everyone in.”

The Sixers obviously believe in what Nurse can do for them. He has the ability to maximize the talent he has on the roster and that is the hope for Morey with this group.

“Great coaches can help you unlock players that maybe can create value that other teams don’t see or can’t unlock,” Morey finished. “That’s the key. How do you get these players that can help with the front office and the coach to achieve a greater objective.”


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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire