Nick Nurse Rumors
Brittni Donaldson spent the last two seasons as a data analyst — i.e., advanced stats guru — in the Raptors’ front office before Masai Ujiri, Toronto’s president and alternate governor, and Nick Nurse, the head coach, picked her in mid-July to fill an opening on Toronto’s bench. “Losing someone so smart [from the front office] is tough,” Ujiri says. “But she has coaching in her DNA.”
REPORT: Sources say #Raptors data analyst Brittni Donaldson is expected to join Nick Nurse’s staff in a coaching capacity, per our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania . There are currently 9 female assistants in the #NBA.
Stadium: REPORT: Sources say #Raptors data analyst Brittni Donaldson is expected to join Nick Nurse’s staff in a coaching capacity, per our NBA Insider @Shams Charania. There are currently 9 female assistants in the #NBA.
Mike Ganter: Nick Nurse with some strong words on Canada’s inability to attract available talent: “I think the biggest thing is we need an introduction, some of the guys need an introduction to the national team, right? I think the guys who are here right now have all played a little bit, continue to grow as they stay together, but some of the guys we need to see, I dunno, I guess they need to find out why or why not they’re gonna play or commit to playing.”
He had no idea he’d have to do it with one hand tied behind his back. “When I considered [the job] I thought there would be a majority of NBA guys playing, which I thought made sense as an NBA coach to have an NBA guy coaching them,” Nurse said on Wednesday.
Nurse said he intends on playing a bigger recruiting role. It was tough this time around, he said, because he had his hands full with the Raptors’ lengthy season. “I think I have got to try and develop some relationships with some of these guys and see where they are at,” Nurse said after practice. “But I need more information. I need a better understanding of why or why not? Will they or will they not participate, and why or why not?”
Newcastle Eagles have confirmed that club legend Fab Flournoy will leave to re-unite with Nick Nurse as an assistant coach at Toronto Raptors. The move has been rumoured since Nurse – a former BBL coach of the year and GB’s assistant at the 2012 Olympics – took over as the Raptors’ head coach at the start of last season before going on to become an NBA champion.
“As you can see I’m doing things I have never done in the NBA that I’m getting to do right now,” he said referring to handling the ball and stepping outside to shoot. “That’s what a lot of guys don’t understand. Coach Nurse gives you the confidence and freedom to do whatever you want. Basically everything you want in the system you have here so I’m lucky.”
Donatas Urbonas: Nick Nurse on an assistant job interview with Sarunas Jasikevicius last summer: “I had a dozen calls with him. I watched his teams play & I liked what I saw. He’s obviously up-and-coming or “already here” coach.”
Donatas Urbonas: Nick Nurse on Jonas Valanciunas: “More Jonas stories… I obviously love Jonas. But I’m gonna try to kick his ass tomorrow (laughs). I don’t know if there was a guy that I spent as much time with and had a strong long relationship like him.”
Donatas Urbonas: Nick Nurse on Canada L in FIBA WC opener vs Australia: „To get out of this group, you have to play an extraordinary basketball. And we had some extraordinary moments tonight.“ Nurse added this L put them in do or die situation for the upcoming game vs Lithuania.
Nurse is having a blast doing the two things he loves more than anything outside his nearest and dearest: He’s coaching basketball and he’s experiencing a part of the world he has never seen before. “Are you kidding me?,” Nurse replied when asked about his time coaching Team Canada this summer. “I’ve never been to Australia, I’ve never been to China. Every day is fascinating to me. It’s such an adventure … You get to coach basketball, you get to play in an incredible tournament in incredible venues. I don’t know. I just come outside every day and look around and say ‘What an adventure? How could this not be fun?’”
“I’m excited about the competition on top of that,” Nurse said. “As a basketball coach, that is what you do. You live for the competition and try to figure out how to get a group of guys to beat another group of guys.”
Melvin Ejim, one of the few returning veterans on this team has been impressed. “He’s a good guy, man,” Ejim said following Canada’s first practice in Dongguan. “He’s fun, a great coaching mind, I think everything so far … there’s a reason why we’ve been growing step by step, every time we’ve been playing better, we’ve been improving things, and I think that he’s done a great job so far and hopefully, we can continue throughout the whole tournament.”
With the FIBA Basketball World Cup just three days away, Canada head coach Nick Nurse confirmed that point guard Cory Joseph will join the team once they arrive in Dongguan, China. “As far as I know he is,” Nurse told reporters in Sydney when asked if Joseph would be joining the squad. “I exchanged a text with him a little earlier today and he said he was getting on the plane tomorrow [Monday] and he’d see me there. I guess we’ll wait until we see if he’s there. He’ll be there.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander announced his decision not to participate at the FIBA World Cup in China with the Canadian selection. This adds up trouble for coach Nick Nurse, who will also lack Jamal Murray this summer. Gilgeous-Alexander posted a statement on his social media, clarifying that he will focus on preparing for the next NBA season.
On Wednesday, Nurse joined SN 590s Jeff Blair and Richard Deitsch on Prime Time Sports, where he answered a pair of questions regarding the Raptors future following Leonard’s departure. “Listen, there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it now that it’s over. You know, we’ve got guys here and nothing changes much for us – we’re into development, we’ve got some good looks at some guys at Summer League, we’ve got a bunch of guys getting together here for our regular summer workouts, et cetera so we just move on and progress towards training camp… I probably haven’t given it that much thought.”
Nick Nurse: “I think aggressive defence, I think playing a lot of people throughout the regular season, changing defences, being really good late game. None of that stuff changes for me. I think that’s what we want our team to be and where we go from there. Now, listen, you can say [Leonard] made a lot of big buckets and he was clutch in the late game and all that kind of stuff but we’re gonna have to develop that from somewhere else.”
Leonard will join the LA Clippers on a four-year, $141 million contract, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “I think you can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home,” Nurse said Saturday night at the Las Vegas Summer League. “That’s what he texted me today. ‘I’m going home.’ And I just said, ‘You’ve changed a lot of lives, man, by what you’ve accomplished in Toronto. Mine especially.’ And thanked him for what he did, and we’ll look to the future, and we’ll look to [win a title] again.”
Nick Friedell: Nick Nurse on Kawhi “You can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home. That’s what he texted me today ‘I’m going home.’ And I just said ‘You’ve changed a lot of lives by what you’ve accomplished in Toronto, mine especially.’ And thank him for what he did …”
“It’s certainly disappointing,” Nurse admitted after first saying Leonard’s decision to return to his native Los Angeles was not a total surprise. “I think we all knew that was a situation that could happen and he delivered big-time,” Nurse said at half-time of Toronto’s Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors. “He’s first of all a great person. He was unbelievably fun to coach, just locked in, loaded and ready to go. When people would ask me what was it like coaching him and I always said the best thing was I got to stand there on the courtside and watch this guy go to work. And that was something I’ll never forget. Now we’ve got to go kick his ass,” Nurse said with a smile, echoing the words point guard Fred VanVleet had uttered about Toronto’s task should Leonard become a former teammate.
Some of the turtles are named after players such as Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet, while the others are named after coach Nick Nurse, the president of basketball operations Masai Uijri and superfan Drake.
Vivek Jacob: Nick Nurse on potential White House visit: “We’re here, let’s visit Trudeau. We’re Canada’s team.” Said that plans are already in the works for the visit to Parliament Hill. Haven’t heard from the White House.
With the Raptors locked with the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals at stake, the Carroll, Iowa, native called up a play he discovered from a DVD he bought in Ames and used a number of times while coaching the then-NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy. And like it did so many times with the Energy, the play worked, this time on an even bigger stage: Toronto star Kawhi Leonard knocked down a buzzer-beating jumper that gave the Raptors a stunning 92-90 win.
“Kawhi’s Game 7 buzzer-beater was the same exact play we used at the Energy — I’ll bet you, 10 times — to either win a game or send a game into overtime,” Nurse said in an interview with the Des Moines Register on Tuesday. “We’d pop Cartier Martin off that thing, and he’d bang that 3-ball (in) or go one-on-one like Kawhi did and make the play on that. That’s an old play I stole off a (longtime NBA coach and broadcaster) Hubie Brown DVD I got from Championship Books and Video in Ames, Iowa.”
And maybe that’s the reason he spent 25 minutes on a Sunday afternoon four days after the season came to a victorious close for himself and his Toronto Raptors discussing the year he had just been through. “I would say if there was a growth area for me it was … I really — this is going to sound strange — I really wasn’t that nervous much,” he said. “I remember being a hell of a lot more nervous than this coaching early in my career. A little more emotional, a little more, I don’t know, charged up.” “And this will sound funny but one of the most nervous times I had this year was — and I told Masai (Ujiri) this — it was Game 3 at Orlando (Toronto’s first round of playoffs) in the middle of the third quarter and we were up like 12. All of a sudden I was like ‘Holy (crap), what is going on with me here? I was just like ‘Man I’m nervous as hell.’ And I hardy hadn’t felt like that all year. So I got up out of my chair, went to halfcourt and yelled at somebody and kind of got over it real quick.”
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse is huge fan of OG Anunoby. Said before he thought he’d be starting PF last summer. “He’s a super talented young player It was a tough yr for him. We’ll have to kind of go with the clean slate approach … He’s very young basketball-wise … We love his length, athleticism”
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse on Kawhi’s future: “I don’t really know. I know he has to make a decision here in a couple of weeks. I think he had a good season here, people liked him. I think we can give him a pretty good deal.”
Josh Lewenberg: I asked Nick Nurse about the behind-the-scenes adversity Lowry and Leonard referenced to @Rachel__Nichols. He wouldn’t elaborate much, but said those incidents were both “expected and needed”. “We became better as a result of some of those tussles that we had.”
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse on comparisons to winning in other leagues: “The magnitude of this is so huge.” He asked assistant coach Scariolo, who won Olympic medals and World Cup gold how it compares. Was told “(what the Raptors accomplished) is so big.”
Eric Koreen: Nurse says taking over Canada job is “just about done.” He thinks it will make him a better coach, and he loves the talent.
Ryan Wolstat: Nick Nurse: Says winning makes the grind worth it. “The rest of it has been too wild to explain. From the minute the buzzer sounded, all the eight thousand things that have happened in the last 48 hours”
The Raptors, who got 10 straight points from Kawhi Leonard before the timeout, surrendered three straight three-pointers to the Warriors after the break to lose their lead and wound up falling 106-105, missing a chance to clinch their first-ever NBA Finals on home court. “We just came across and just decided to give those guys a rest,” Nurse said of the timeout post-game. “[We] just thought we could use the extra energy push.” The Raptors, who were in the midst of a 12-2 run before the timeout, made just one of their last six shots in the game’s final 180 seconds. “At that time I felt that he probably wanted to get us some rest,” Leonard said. “You never know. I mean, if we would have won the game, we wouldn’t be talking about it.”
Golden State now will get a chance to push this series to a seventh game when these teams meet again Thursday night in the last game at Oracle Arena, while Toronto will be hoping to claim that elusive final win to clinch the title. “We just came across and just decided to give those guys a rest,” Nurse said of the timeout. “[We] just thought we could use the extra energy push.”
Raptors coach Nick Nurse was complimentary of the team as a whole, noting the “load management” games Leonard took off during the regular season helped develop the Raptors’ youth even though the method wasn’t favorably received by the masses. “That criticism didn’t bother me one bit,” Nurse told Yahoo Sports. “And I give our other guys credit because we played our asses off when he wasn’t in. We went 17-5 in those 22 load-management games. It helped us and it helped developed the other guys as well. You can see it with the way we’re playing now, and [Leonard] trusts them.”
Connor Letourneau: Nick Nurse: “When you get used to coming up in the minor leagues, sometimes you don’t know who’s playing until an hour before the game, or sometimes 10 minutes.” Said that’s helped him in these Finals.
Josh Lewenberg: Lowry, asked if Kawhi’s nature has rubbed off on him: “I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t. And also Marc and Danny and Nick. I think Nick honestly yelled at us twice the whole year. That’s legit: twice the whole year. That’s a long season to only yell at a team twice”
Silver explained his reasoning for meeting with Drake during his annual news conference prior to the start of the league’s championship series. “I think in the case of Drake, as I’ve said before, I mean we certainly appreciate his superfan status, and I know he’s beloved in the community of Toronto,” Silver said. “I think certainly we don’t want fans, friend or foe, contacting an NBA coach during a game. I think that even as Nick Nurse later said, I didn’t even realize it was Drake or hardly was aware that I was being touched, and I think those can lead to dangerous situations. You’re in the middle of coaching a game and you’re completely focused, you obviously don’t want somebody who is not on your team touching you.
Josh Lewenberg: Nick Nurse says OG Anunoby is about 10 days away from being able to play. “He’s doing better. He’s on the court. He’s moving around. He’s not 100%, but he’s healing.”
The game-clinching, step back three-pointer over Joel Embiid in Game 4 of the second round. The series-clinching, four-bounce fadeaway from the right corner in Game 7. The gimpy, 52-minute, double-overtime effort in Game 3 of the conference finals. And the fearless, fourth-quarter step-back three-pointer over Brook Lopez in Game 5. Four iconic moments, a few murals and countless memes, all from a two-month journey that isn’t over just yet. The Raptors are in the NBA Finals – a place that Leonard hasn’t been since upstaging James five years ago, a place Toronto has never been, a place where they all are because Leonard is here. “I don’t know how many good things I can say about him,” Nurse said. “He’s just so good. And again, I’m seeing a level of competitive greatness out of him. It’s just his willing those shots in almost, it seems like, and going down and locking up somebody and taking the ball from them. It’s great competitive desire.”
Tim Bontemps: Raptors coach Nick Nurse on Kawhi making All-NBA second team: “Well, he’s awfully good. … We saw him cruise to a lot of 30-point games. … He’s playing great. He’s right up there with the guys playing the best in the playoffs.”
Doug Smith: Nick Nurse, on conference call, downplays The Shoulder Rub Seen ‘Round The World “I didn’t even know I got the shoulder rub last night until somebody showed me a picture of it today. I didn’t even feel it. I was so locked into the game.”
He’s injured. He has to be. For two games Kawhi Leonard has dragged around his right leg like there was a nail hammered into it. The Raptors won’t admit there’s a problem. Nick Nurse says he’s fine. Leonard’s face says different. In the third quarter of Toronto’s 120-102 Game 4 win, Leonard elevated for dunk, colliding with Giannis Antetokounmpo in mid-air, that right leg refusing to bend when it hit the floor. He winced, looking down at the leg. For the stoic Leonard, it was the equivalent of a scream.
“He’s playing through pain,” Danny Green said to a handful of reporters, long after Leonard left the locker room. “He can’t even celebrate baskets because of how painful it is. You dunk on a guy like Giannis and you are worried about your knee, it shows you that he’s fighting. We’re going to need him to fight through the rest of this series. We need two more.”
Ryan Wolstat: Nurse on not going with double big combo/low Ibaka minutes: “I guess I just wasn’t feeling the big lineup.” Says Norm playing really well, VanVleet doing everything but hitting shots. Gasol and Siakam rolling too.
Josh Lewenberg: Danny Green said he was surprised when Nurse called a play for him in 2OT (the 3 he hit). He was 0-for-8 at the time. “For a coach to do that, have the confidence in me to hit the next one… it felt good, and hopefully that starts a rhythm for next game.”
With his team trailing the Milwaukee Bucks 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is contemplating making multiple lineup changes ahead of Sunday’s crucial Game 3. “I think there could be more than one lineup change coming at us,” he said on a conference call Saturday afternoon before hedging a bit. “I think your question here is this: Are you gonna dance with the one you brought to the ball? It’s not easy.” “I kinda trust these guys, know who they are, believe in them, and know they’re better than they played [Friday] night and have shown that on bounce-back situations usually.”
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse was told that 93% of teams down 0-2 in a series go on to lose, joked: “That can’t be right. Check the figures…” “I don’t really give a crap about that. I just want our team to play their ass off in Game 3, get a win and that changes the series.”
Paul Jones: Nurse talked a lot about ball movement. When u have drawn 2-3 guys u have done ur job so swing it to the next guy and he needs to shoot it or swing it. Called Milwaukee a “heavy load team” #rtz #Raptors #WeTheNorth #EasternConferenceFinals
Paul Jones: Nick Nurse talked about the #Raptors trying to do one of the most difficult things on the defensive end … help and recover and Giannis “It’s not an either or… we have to do both” #rtz #Raptors #EasternConferenceFinals #nba #WeTheNorth
Whatever was on that list, Leonard smacked it away as swiftly and forcefully as he swats away shots with those baseball-mitt hands of his. “He said: ‘I love to play. I want to be healthy, so I can play this game for a long time. And I want to win. That’s all I really care about,'” Nurse recalled. “I found that to be pretty interesting, that he discarded all of the other kind of personal objectives and personal goals that I had kind of laid out.”
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse has already indicated his starters will play heavy minutes in Game 7. Expect him to give the subs (VanVleet, maybe Powell) a brief look in 1st half. “If those few minutes go well it could extend as long as (they) want it to extend.” If not, the leash will/should be short.
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse: “This (Sixers) team is super talented. If we can get out of it we’re going to grow, and I think it’s a good thing. Do we love these last couple days? No we don’t. Do we love some of the days after we got our ass kicked? Not very much. But it seems like a chance to grow.”
Eric Koreen: Nurse on adjusting to Philly if Embiid doesn’t play: “I haven’t thought about that for one second until you brought that up.”
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse, asked how much pressure he felt yesterday: “I don’t know. Not any more than normal… I feel worse for my friends and family. They’re telling me they’re sick and pacing and headaches and all kinds of stuff. I’m lost in the game, I don’t really feel that kind of stuff.”
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude: Raptors Coach Nurse said Pascal Siakam is “doing ok, not 100%, …have confidence he could impact the game more than he did yesterday”. Today Raptors had light practice: just film and shooting.
“I was in love with the triangle because it was so different to what everybody was doing in the NBA”, Nurse says. “Everybody else was dribbling down, throwing it into the low post and then their guy would go to work. To me it was boring.” The triangle has all but died in the modern game, but Nurse was once in awe of the crisp cutting and spacing, an offensive system mastered by Michael Jordan’s ’90’s Chicago Bulls under Phil Jackson. “It was beautiful to watch”, he says. Nurse also took scouting very seriously and knew exactly what he wanted in an individual. He once decided on an Australian player for the Bullets because he witnessed him getting into a fight over a foul during an All-Star game, unable to pass up that level of competitive spirit.
Londoner Mensah-Bonsu, who played for five NBA teams including the Raptors, was 13 when he watched his first professional game of basketball. His youth coach, Joe White, took him to see the Hackney Towers at Wembley Arena, where Mensah-Bonsu played for the junior team. His overwhelming thought at the time was, ‘how can I play in the BBL?’ It just so happens that in that very game he was watching, Nurse was playing and coaching for the Bucks. 20 years later, Nurse coached Mensah-Bonsu at the London Olympics. “Nick Nurse has had an impact on the British game that most fans could not even imagine”, Mensah-Bonsu says.
It wouldn’t be Nurse without some of that impact coming slightly out of left field, for example having Dennis Rodman play three league games for the Bears back in 2006. “I do not recall him [Rodman] saying anything to any of us”, Baker says of that time. The former NBA star did not share changing rooms with the team, joined his new team-mates during the warm-up, finished in double digits in rebounding before leaving without a word. “It was bizarre”, Baker says.