Nick Nurse Rumors

So, after winning their opening game inside the NBA’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, do the Raptors think anyone is listening? Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he isn’t convinced — and isn’t too concerned either way. “Yeah, maybe,” Nurse said after his Raptors won 107-92 in the final game played Saturday night. “I don’t think anybody’s going to pay much attention, they don’t ever seem to, but it’s OK. “Seriously man, we love to play the games and we like to compete, we know we’re tough to beat, we really do, and I think there’s a ceiling we can get to yet.”
Vogel was also asked who he would vote for Coach of the Year, if he couldn’t vote for himself, and crossed lines on the Lakers-Boston Celtics rivalry to cast his ballot. “I think so many people have done great jobs,” he said. “Obviously coach Bud (Mike Budenholzer) and coach (Nick) Nurse out east, doing what they’ve done has been very impressive,” Vogel said. “‘Billy the Kid’ (Billy Donovan) in OKC — with a team that didn’t necessarily have high expectations — has done a great job. Taylor Jenkins has done a great job in Memphis. But why don’t I give it to my former Indiana buddy Brad Stevens for doing a great job losing Kyrie Irving and a few others? Al Horford changing the whole identity of their team and having a great season. I would probably vote for Brad.”
Nurse knows family time is precious. “It’s really another part of the puzzle, and it’s a big one,” the Raptors coach said on a Zoom call Tuesday from Naples, Fla. “It starts with conversation, when you’re bumping into Fred [VanVleet] or Kyle [Lowry], and you’re asking them how are the wife and kids, and what are they doing, and when was the last time you talked to them. There’s a lot more of that going on than I would say normally would happen… a lot more now because we’re all showing pictures and whatever. It’s another one of those things you’d be more lenient on. We’re getting ready to start a meeting and somebody says ‘Oh, man, my kid’s FaceTiming me,’ and you say ‘Take it, go out in the hall and take it, and we’ll wait for you.”‘
When Nurse left his Toronto house for Florida, his three-year-old son Leo said he’d wait for him by the door. “He didn’t quite understand how long I’m going to be gone,” said Nurse, who has another son Rocky born during last year’s thrilling post-season run. “I told him I’m going to coach some games, and he said ‘Well, I’m going to wait right here for ya.’ I hope he’s moved from that spot because it’s going to be a while.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Nurse said he feels safe with the NBA’s coronavirus protocols. “We are going a long ways out of our way to make it extra safe as we should. We really are in the hotel. We are confined. We are away from everything. There is cleaning all over the place. Everyone is wearing masks. We go to the gym and there’s cleaning and we come back. It feels really safe,” Nurse said. “I think the early stages or days of the Disney thing are critical. Getting a whole bunch of testing done and getting kind of to a point there. I think it will all be done at a really high level and remain fairly safe. I hope I’m right.”
Nurse and the rest of his squad have been isolated within a private facility in Fort Myers since June 22, where they will remain until the NBA starts moving teams into ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex on July 9. For now, Nurse says it’s not so bad being in the bubble. “It’s a different feel. The rules and stuff about how many players and coaches are on the floor and at each basket, it feels like we’re going to basketball camp a little bit. We go in at 8:30 and stay there all day because we’ve got limits on how many players and coaches there can be,” Nurse explained.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Nurse says spirits are high, even though the world outside remains tumultuous. Florida set yet another frightening daily high with over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19, and it will be at least seven weeks until the players can bring friends or family members inside the bubble. Nurse said his mood might change a month from now, but for now things are still positive. “I’ve said how much I’ve missed coaching these guys and I just sense these guys like to be around each other, they like to play. The attitude is really good,” Nurse said.
“It’s 650,000 to a million expats living in Canada,” Nurse said. “I think like with anything, [voting abroad] is probably a really old initiative that’s hard to get the message out, and we’re hoping to help, we’re hoping to help raise awareness.” Nurse has a series of public service announcements planned, including some with Raptors players. They’ll guide voters on how to register and where to vote, to “get the wheels in motion, and then there’ll be a couple of other steps once we get closer [to Nov. 3 election day].”
Next week, 21 of the 22 teams participating in the NBA’s restart will begin trickling to Orlando to start isolating. But one team from beyond the state’s borders has already traveled to central Florida and kicked off what could amount to nearly four months away from home. While the Toronto Raptors are not yet at the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World, their experience leaving their families behind and beginning basketball activities in Florida is essentially a test run for the environment the NBA will attempt to execute in Orlando. “I feel really safe here,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse told ESPN. “We’ve got a great setup, and I feel good, man.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
“I haven’t sensed any discontent or whatever about having to be here, or asking why,” Nurse said. “In general, the guys are good, and I think most of them are concerned about their careers and getting back to wherever they were or getting them better. I think there’s a real level that I see … the care factor is high.” Nurse also believes his roster is well-equipped to handle the pressure of interacting with pretty much only one another for multiple months. “There’s some genuine chemistry with these guys,” he said. “They like to play in general, they like to play with each other, the love of the game. … I would give a lot of our guys a lot of high marks in those areas.”
Adrian Griffin, who played nine years in the league and is currently an assistant on Nick Nurse’s Toronto staff, has gotten his share of interviews — most recently last spring with Memphis — and has amassed a strong résumé as a veteran assistant. Professional, mature and relatable are qualities repeatedly mentioned by those whom Griffin has worked for or alongside.
Toronto coach Nick Nurse is scheduled to coach Canada in that qualifying tournament and, he hopes, the Olympics. But he expects that international travel is one of the last things that will return to normal, or whatever the new normal will be in a world dealing with COVID-19. So, he’s like Kerr and left wondering what’ll happen. “It’s complicated, is my best thought,” Nurse said. “I just don’t know enough to tell you what next season is going to look like. I don’t know. When’s it going to start? I think they’re talking about pushing it back, but I don’t know if they’re going to play games closer together. I don’t think so, that’s kind of a thing that everybody’s been happy that they continue to spread them out and lessen the back-to-backs and all those things.
Storyline: Coronavirus
Toronto Raptors players and staff showed their support for people protesting racial injustice around the world in a video shared on the team’s social media channels. The video features members of the Raptors — including Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anuonoby, head coach Nick Nurse and president Massai Ujiri — reading a spoken word poem titled “I can’t breathe.”

Adrian Griffin and Nick Nurse used the same word to describe their immediate reactions to watching the clip: heartbreaking. On May 25, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis while in police custody. The incident was caught on camera, with officer Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed against Floyd’s neck as he and onlookers pleaded with the officer to back off. This hit home for Griffin, one of Nurse’s lead assistant coaches and the father of four, all now in high school and college.
His favorite indulgence at the time, at the cost of 10 British pounds per week, was the weekly delivery of VHS tapes of Bulls games from a German company called PonTel. henever he could make time, sometimes in the company of his American players, Nurse voraciously studied Jackson’s triangle offense, his substitutions and everything else. “There was nothing on TV but soccer and cricket, so I was watching every game I got 10, 12 times,” Nurse said. “Phil was my mentor, and he didn’t even know it.”
Nurse and Jackson didn’t meet until the summer of 2018, shortly after Nurse was hired as coach of the Toronto Raptors. Alex McKechnie, the Raptors’ vice president for player health and performance and an alumnus of Jackson’s staff with the Los Angeles Lakers, connected them. Soon after, Nurse was in Montana — summoned for what became a three-day coaching retreat with the Zen Master. It was a hard-to-believe prelude to what became a fairy-tale rookie season on the Raptors’ bench with their run to an N.B.A. title. “It was a big thrill for me,” Nurse said of his summit with Jackson.
Nick Nurse: “Sure. Coaching professionally in England – 15 or 16 games in & we were 8-8 & I was like I don’t know if I’m that good at this. I went home & wrote down 4 other things that I thought I could do & they all looked like sh!t to me, so I thought I’d better figure out how to coach.”

Nick Nurse: “Sure. Coaching professionally in England – 15 or 16 games in & we were 8-8 & I was like I don’t know if I’m that good at this. I went home & wrote down 4 other things that I thought I could do & they all looked like sh!t to me, so I thought I’d better figure out how to coach.”

Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he’s trying to prepare for every possibility that would allow the Raptors a chance to defend their title. “We’re ready for whatever is thrown at us,” Nurse said recently during a conference call with reporters. “I don’t think it really matters. What matters is that we attack the title in whatever format it’s going to be presented in and we go for it.”
Storyline: Season Suspension
Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, in the middle of a magical All-Star season, didn’t like that answer. He was particularly agitated when Nurse explained he could not have any contact during the 14-day quarantine period — not even with his brother Christian, a former college basketball player who is Siakam’s roommate, workout partner, manager and constant companion. “Pascal was struggling with it,” Nurse said. “He’s saying to me, ‘What do you mean I can’t see my brother? We do everything together.’ I said, ‘No, dude. You have to stay away for now. You just played Rudy Gobert.'”