Nick Nurse Rumors
Shibata appreciates the flexibility of working from home, and has developed a rapport with Toronto Coach Nick Nurse, who has answered questions from Japanese reporters at the end of his virtual news conferences. “I enjoy talking to him and getting responses from him,” Shibata said. “He knows my English is shaky, and I’m trying my best to communicate with him. He’s been really inclusive to someone like me.”
In turn, Pacers management set out to find a high-energy, new-age coach. Indiana initially cast a wide net, meeting with north of 20 candidates, sources said, including various profiles ranging from Spurs assistant Becky Hammon to former head coach Dave Joerger. And while Mike D’Antoni was long considered the favorite to fill Indiana’s opening, the Pacers grew to specifically covet a “Nick Nurse-type,” sources said. Pritchard is said to hold a longstanding relationship with Nurse, the inventive play caller who piloted Toronto to the 2019 championship in just his first year at the helm of the Raptors. Both men played overseas and later coached in the American minor leagues such as the ABA and USBL during the early 2000s. Nurse’s analytics-minded offensive acumen, honed in the G League, plus his outside-the-box defensive tactics, such as mixing various zone looks to keep opponents off kilter, particularly intrigued Prichard, sources said.
National Basketball Association coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors is the newest board member of sports data analytics firm Noah Basketball. The company was formed in 2002 under CEO John Carter and analyzes shooting arcs and performances of basketball players. Noah’s basketball tracking systems are used by various NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. The company said Nurse would use his NBA experience to help convey “the relevance” of its shot tracking systems for “evaluation and improvement.” Philadelphia 76ers forward Anthony Tolliver is also on Noah’s board.