Sixers Notes: Harden, Nurse, Embiid, House

Asked during his introductory press conference this week about how he’d pitch James Harden on coming back to Philadelphia and playing for him next season, new Sixers head coach Nick Nurse told reporters that “winning has to be the sell,” according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“‘Can we be good enough to win it all?’ That’s got to be a goal of his,” Nurse said. “And if it is, then he should stay here and play for us, because I think there’s a possibility of that.”

According to Nurse, he has already touched base with Harden and intends to meet with him – and every other player on the roster – in the not-too-distant future.

As Bontemps writes, Nurse also said that a combination of talent on the roster and stability at the ownership level made Philadelphia his top choice as a sought a new job following his exit from Toronto. Nurse was also said to be in the mix for the coaching vacancies in Milwaukee and Phoenix — both teams have undergone ownership changes in recent months.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • Nurse said during this week’s press conference that his years of experience game-planning against Joel Embiid with the Raptors should come in handy as he attempts to get the most out of the reigning MVP going forward, per Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. “We threw everything, almost everything you could possibly throw at a guy,” Nurse said. “It was that hard for us to try to stop him. We threw a lot at him. So, at least I think that we can offensively say, ‘This is what we did, and here’s how we can beat it,’ and we’ve almost covered most things.”
  • Kyle Neubeck of has a few more quotes from Nurse’s presser, including the new Sixers coach stating that he won’t necessarily be looking to reuse the strategies and playing styles he utilized with the Raptors. “What we did in Toronto, it’s just trying to maximize what the roster looked like,” Nurse explained. “We really had to generate turnovers to get out and score, transition, and in 2018 it was a different roster. We did have (Marc) Gasol so we played a different style and a different defense, and it’s going to be whatever’s best for this team.”
  • Following Danuel House‘s decision to pick up his player option for 2023/24, Neubeck wonders at whether we should expect House to play a role similar to the limited one he had in ’22/23 or if Nurse will want to try to get more out of him.
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