When Nerlens Noel was spending his days in the gym rehabbing his torn ACL and working on post moves, the one guy there every day was assistant Greg Foster. In Summer League when Noel finally hit the court Foster honed in on him, yelling at him to be more aggressive. While in Vegas, I noticed he was keeping a note pad, and when Nerlens messed up he would jot down things for him to work on.
If there was any person (outside of Noel) that was responsible for helping to build the skill set the 2013 first round pick showed off in Vegas and Orlando, it was undoubtedly Foster. So to see word that he was leaving the Sixers staff was certainly a shock.
According to a report out of Milwaukee, Foster will be leaving Philadelphia and taking a position with the Bucks. Our own Jake Fischer was able to confirm the news, noting he'll be taking on a top assistant role with his new club.
I know it's MLB trade deadline day, but a Sixers source has confirmed that player development coach Greg Foster has indeed joined the Bucks.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 31, 2014
In a move that shocked many with the Sixers, Greg Foster left Philly for a "big promotion" to a full Assistant Coach with Milwaukee.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 31, 2014
A 13-year NBA veteran, Foster joined the Sixers only a year ago after spending time on the bench with his alma mater UTEP. Not only vital in the assistance of Noel, but the 43-year-old assistant seemed to be rubbing off well on Henry Sims, who flourished after he was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline.
In a piece on CSNPhilly.com from February, Sixers head coach Brett Brown had nothing but complimentary things to say about Foster.
I don’t think people understand his resume because he is extremely quiet and runs very silent," Brown said of Foster. "He is not declaring it often. I wish the players called upon him far more frequently than they do. He has been there and done that. I hope Nerlens is asking a lot of questions and Spencer and Thaddeus too.
Milwaukee is in need of a big man coach, and both Kidd and Foster are from the Bay Area, but a guy who meant a lot to one of Philadelphia's prized young assets bolting after just one season on the job is a bit bizarre. Unless there were issues behind the scenes (which I doubt), it's probably safe to guess the promotion and pay raise was too much for the Sixers to match. Because if the franchise is lacking anything, it's certainly spending money.
With the Sixers now on the market for a replacement, what's Matt Geiger up to these days?