Nick Nurse talked about his first meeting with Kawhi Leonard following his trade to the Toronto Raptors.
“I’d never talked to him before. I don’t think I’m alone in that. So you get a perception of him,” Nurse said. “I’ll be honest with you. I kind of went in there thinking, ‘What if he doesn’t say anything? What am I going to do?’ ”
Nurse was pleasantly surprised by how engaged Leonard was with him.
“I sat down and said, ‘Do you have any questions?’ And he started firing them,” Nurse said. “And it just led us to a really easygoing (conversation). Not what I was expecting. Very smart. Very intelligent. Very engaging. Really enjoyed it … (Management) had to drag us out of there in the end because they had to go do something else. But it was great.”
Nurse and Leonard met for approximately 45 minutes.
“We could have gone forever. (Raptors management) kept knocking on the door and I was like, ‘A couple more minutes.’ Because we were really into it,” Nurse said. “It was fun to listen to his take. He asked me, ‘How are you going to use me? Where are you going to get me the ball? What do you see?’ And I told him, ‘Listen. To me, you can do pretty much everything. You can post. You can drive. You can handle it up the floor. You can play screen and roll. You can come off pindowns.’ I said, ‘Did I miss anything?’ He’s like, ‘No, that’s about it.’ I said, ‘You’ll probably be doing all that stuff.’ ”