Fred VanVleet says Nick Nurse will give Sixers a ‘great breath of fresh air’
Though the Sixers hiring of Nick Nurse was not yet official as of Wednesday morning, Nurses former point guard has already shared his thoughts on the coachs move from Toronto to Philadelphia.
Fred VanVleet, who played for Nurse during all five of his seasons as Raptors head coach, discussed the hiring on Stadiums Inside the Association show.
Its just a different voice that they havent heard before something outside the box, VanVleet said. Hes going to bring new ideas, creative ideas. Itll be a great breath of fresh air for them. Anytime youre changing head coaches, thats pretty much what youre looking for a new identity, new voice for guys to kind of rally behind.
I think coming down the stretch, they pretty much had to get Joel (Embiid) on board. I think once Nick met with Joel, as long as hes signing off on all the crazy stuff that Coach wants to do, I think that theyll be in a good spot. I think hell have some success hopefully, not too much. If Im not there and Im staying in Toronto, then we want them to fail.
But other than that, Im happy that he landed on his feet. Our situation was our situation this year and coming down the stretch, they decided to go different ways, but Im just happy that he landed on his feet. Good to see him back with another job.
After going undrafted following four years at Wichita State, VanVleet spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career as a Raptor. In the 2021-22 campaign, the 6-foot guard was named an All-Star for the first time.
He knows when to go fast, he knows when to go slow; he knows how to change his pace, Tyrese Maxey said after VanVleet posted 32 points and seven assists in a November 2021 win by the Raptors over the Sixers. He knows how to draw fouls. Hes a very smart player, very heady player. I remember, I think I was in … I dont know what grade I was in, watching him at Wichita State. I was telling my friends I was young I think hes going to be really good. Gets to the NBA and hes pretty good. It was great competing against him, and hats off to him.
He was asked whether hed fielded any calls from the Sixers stars about Nurse.
No, I havent gotten those calls yet, but they might be calling after training camp, trying to figure out how to read him, VanVleet said with a smile. Hes definitely a different guy but certainly one of the top coaches in the NBA, and we saw that with us winning the championship. So that bond we have, thats a lifelong thing.