The Philadelphia 76ers made one of the best moves last summer with the hiring of head coach Nick Nurse. Under his watch, the team has surpassed expectations despite numerous injuries early on, the James Harden trade, and stronger competition from top to bottom in the Eastern Conference.
However, that seamless partnership couldn’t have happened had the Milwaukee Bucks sniffed a different scent of the situation. Having fired their own head coach at that time like the 76ers, Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly preferred Adrian Griffin as the new guy to man the sidelines over Nurse, whom the Bucks initially sought after.
Yet here we are, four months into the season, and Milwaukee has already dropped the hammer on Griffin.
The 76ers have Giannis Antetokounmpo to thank for snagging Nick Nurse
As if the regretful hypotheticals aren’t enough, the comic crusade comes full circle upon news of Doc Rivers becoming the top candidate to fill Griffin’s void came up. Rivers of course was the very coach whom the 76ers just jettisoned after yet another disappointing playoff exit.
In a sense, the entire city of Philadelphia has Giannis to thank for Nurse finding his way to the franchise. One of the best tacticians in the league, he has been a tremendous floor-raiser from an X’s and O’s standpoint, and has been the key to Joel Embiid unlocking a new dimension in his game in what could very well be another MVP season and Tyrese Maxey emerging as an All-Star caliber guard.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee — one of the 76ers’ biggest rivals in their championship hunt — will have to adjust on the fly with Rivers now at the helm. Griffin’s erratic decision-making already macerated their once-potent defense, and there’s no telling how Rivers can turn that around on short notice considering the Bucks’ lack of more adequate personnel on that end.
Ultimately, while laughing at others’ misery doesn’t do anything at this juncture, it’s clear as day that the Philadelphia 76ers made the right choice, while the Milwaukee Bucks could have done a better move.
Or they could have simply stayed put with the man who was the architect behind their championship in 2021. Not my business, but just throwing it out there.