Nick Nurse coached the Toronto Raptors to an NBA title last season and now doesn't seem to have any patience for the new players on his roster. On Wednesday he was asked how new arrivals Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson were fitting in. He was brutally honest.
Here's what Nurse had to say:
"Nope. Nope. Nope. Those guys have not understood A) how hard we play, B) our schemes, that defense is a priority for them, etc. We've got some work to do with that crew. I tell them there's a couple spots, come Tuesday night there's a couple spots there open if somebody wants them. And I keep telling (them) show me you're going to play defense, show me you're going to play hard, show me you understand our coverages. And then whatever you do on the other end you're going to get opportunities just because of who you're on the floor with they'll come to you, you don't have to come down and occupy 95 percent of your mind with how you're going to break down and get your next shot. It's not going to get you on the floor right now. So we've got some work to do. We've got to find out who's going to blend in quickly defensively with this crew. "
Nurse is speaking like only a man who is secure in his job can speak. He won a title last season and is as locked into his job as he could possibly be. Now he's laying down the law with the new additions to his roster.
Johnson was a lottery pick in 2015 and hasn't established himself in the NBA. He's on his third team already. Hollis-Jefferson was a first-rounder in 2015 as well and had some ups and downs in four seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. But both guys have loads of physical potential and have never lived up to it. Nurse won't stand for that.
A year ago no one knew who Nick Nurse was. Now he's laying down the law like a savvy, experienced NBA head coach.