Sixers veteran Nic Batum opens up on challenges of the season

PHILADELPHIA — The 2023-24 season was a challenge for Philadelphia 76ers veteran Nic Batum. The 16-year forward was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers back in October in the James Harden deal and he had to deal with a lot on and off the court.

On the court, he had to adjust to a new system and a new set of teammates after so much time with the Clippers. Off the court, there were family matters back in LA he had to attend to and make sure that was taken care of. All of that is a lot to handle.

“Top two?” Batum laughed when asked how challenging the season in his career. “That’s my first time I’ve gotten traded during the season. It’s not easy with a family, too. When I got here, people were great. My teammates were amazing. The coaching staff, the fans, the city were amazing. It was fun. I had a lot of fun this year. One thing I’ve learned is Philly is not for everybody, though. You’ve got to be ready to play for that city, and I loved it. It was fun.”

Along with trying to adjust and get settled in with the Sixers and how coach Nick Nurse likes to run things, Batum dealt with injuries of his own. Of course, there was the big Joel Embiid injury, and that was a huge challenge in its own right.

“In the first three months, it was great,” Batum reflected. “Joel, that was amazing what he was doing. Then he went down and the next two months after, we tried to survive and we did. Then he came back — and we traded for some new players. Like I said, we’ve been through a lot. We went to the play-in and found a way to get in, and this series was insane. Congrats to them, they played great. (Jalen) Brunson is amazing. Every game–we could’ve swept them, they could’ve swept us. Yeah, that was a crazy year for sure.”

At the end of the day, the point differential in this series was just one point between the teams. The New York Knicks were a plus-one in this series. That’s as close of a series one will ever see.

“It’s been a great season,” Batum ended. “It was a tough loss. Of course we wanted to keep playing. It was a good fight. Congrats to the Knicks, they played great. It was a great series. We had fun and I think people had fun watching it, so now it’s just sad that it’s done.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire