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Podcast: ‘Out of Site:’ Sixers hire Nurse, Harden’s future, & Butler back in Finals

Nick Nurse is a Sixer. Will James Harden be? Jimmy Butler is back in the NBA Finals and will forever haunt us.

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers continue the trend of hiring head coaches with names based in the medical field.

First, they tried a “Doc” with Glenn Rivers, and now, the next head coach is a Nurse. (That is confirmed. Last week, it was more of a question, but it’s official, now.) If Nurse doesn’t work out they can hire an ...[insert medical field pun].

So Nick Nurse is the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Nurse brings his championship ring from the Toronto Raptors — something that brings Sixers PTSD directly to the surface. The one and only time Nurse got to coach a top ten player he won a chip. Not a bad feather in his personalized “N.N.” cap.

He is an alleged X’s and O’s guy, and more importantly, he is President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey’s “first guy”. Morey can now build a team around his hand picked coach.

Morey tapped one of the candidates with the best reputation as a tactician. He did this, even though he suggested maybe the X’s and O’s element over coaching is overrated in his exit presser:

“I actually think people put too much importance on that. Like, it ends up being a much smaller part of the game than people expect, relative to working with your star players, recruiting star players. Things like that. It is an important element. But, it tends to get overvalued.”

“It tends to get overvalued by people like me, frankly, because it’s an area that I just naturally have an interest in and I think a lot of people do. But, it can only be one part of the puzzle. I promise you, it’s just one part of the picture.”

Based on that, now knowing he settled on Nurse, you have to think Morey believes in Nurse’s overall qualifications, going way beyond the white-board schematics.

His ability to be a CEO, to lead stars, to recruit stars, to instill a culture, Morey clearly believed the whole nine. And my guess is that Morey wants to get involved again. He’s said on numerous occasions he leaves the coaching to Doc and his great staff. But back in Houston, Morey built a rep. as working closely with guys like Mike D’Antoni (who would attend Sloan Conferences). That’s how the term “MoreyBall” was coined.

Maybe we’ll finally get some of that here, with a better theoretical fit between Front Office and coach.

But will Nurse overwork his players during the regular season and push an older, high injury risk group as hard as he pushed his recent Toronto teams? Miami sure demonstrated this year that taking the regular season somewhat lightly and being healthier than everyone else come playoff time isn’t the worst idea.

Miami also proved the value of finding undrafted players. Nurse, as former D League Czar with the Vipers in Houston (hired by Morey) saw 23 players called up to the NBA. Maybe he could help the Sixers with their recent development (coughs, Isaiah Joe) woes.

So brass tax: are the Sixers in better, worse or kinda level shape? And what might it mean for James Harden’s future? Will the coach even matter much if Harden leaves and they cannot compete at the highest level?

Adio Royster and David Early discuss that as well as give a preview of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat which begins tomorrow on ABC/YouTube.

Yes, we touch upon Jimmy Butler’s endless success stories since the Sixers opted not to drop a five-year max on his lap. Pain.

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