Nick Nurse

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Nick Nurse
NICK NURSE (cropped).jpg
Nurse at the Raptors championship parade in 2019
Toronto Raptors
PositionHead coach
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1967-07-24) July 24, 1967 (age 53)
Carroll, Iowa
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Career information
High schoolKuemper Catholic (Carroll, Iowa)
CollegeNorthern Iowa (1985–1989)
Playing career1990–1991
PositionPoint guard
Number4
Coaching career1989–present
Career history
As player:
1990–1991Derby Rams
As coach:
1989–1990Northern Iowa (assistant)
1990–1991Derby Rams (player-coach)
1991–1993Grand View
19931995South Dakota (assistant)
19951997Birmingham Bullets
1998Telindus Oostende
19982000Manchester Giants
2000–2001London Towers
2001Oklahoma Storm (assistant)
20012006Brighton Bears
2005Oklahoma Storm (assistant)
20072011Iowa Energy
20112013Rio Grande Valley Vipers
20132018Toronto Raptors (assistant)
2018–presentToronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards
As head coach:

Nicholas David Nurse (born July 24, 1967) is an American professional basketball coach who is the head coach of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Canadian men's national team.

Early years[edit]

Born in Carroll, Iowa,[1][2] Nurse played at the University of Northern Iowa from 1985 to 1989, appearing in 111 games. He is the school's all-time 3-point percentage leader at .468 (170 of 363).[3] During their successful 1989–90 season, Nurse was the sole student assistant coach for Northern Iowa in his final year with the team. After graduating from Northern Iowa in May 1990 with a B.A. in accounting,[1] Nurse became a player-coach for the Derby Rams in the British Basketball League for the 1990–91 season; following the 1990–91 season, Nurse never played professionally again, opting to pursue a full-time coaching career.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Nurse got his first full-time head coaching job at Grand View University when he was only 23 years old; at the time, he was the youngest college basketball head coach in the country.[5] He coached at Grand View for two seasons before taking on an assistant coaching role at the University of South Dakota for two seasons.

Nurse later spent 11 seasons coaching in Europe, mostly in the British Basketball League (BBL).[5] During that time, he won two BBL championships as a head coach, one with the Birmingham Bullets in 1996 and one with the Manchester Giants in 2000, while also helping London Towers in the Euroleague.[6] Nurse also won the BBL Coach of the Year Award in the 1999–2000 and 2003–04 seasons.[7] He also coached for the Telindus Oostende of the Ethias League in 1998, as well as became an assistant coach for the Oklahoma Storm of the United States Basketball League in both 2001 and 2005.

D-League[edit]

In 2007, Nurse accepted the head coaching job for the Iowa Energy, who were preparing for their first season in the NBA D-League (now called the NBA G League).[8] The Energy won division titles under Nurse in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. After three seasons with the team, Nurse agreed to join the coaching staff of the Iowa State Cyclones as an associate head coach in April 2010.[7] Shortly afterwards, however, Cyclones head coach Greg McDermott left Iowa State to become the head coach at Creighton, and Nurse returned to his former position as head coach with the Energy.[9][10] In the 2010–11 NBA D-League season, Nurse received the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year Award after helping Iowa achieve the best record in the league (37–13).[11] Nurse and the Energy then went on to win the 2011 D-League championship.[12] Before the 2011–12 season, Nurse left the Energy for the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers.[13][14] In the 2012–13 season, the Vipers finished with a record of 35–15 and won the D-League finals in a two-game sweep of the Santa Cruz Warriors.[15]

During his six seasons coaching in the D-League, Nurse had 23 players on his rosters called up to the NBA.[16]

NBA[edit]

In July 2013, Nurse departed the Vipers for an assistant job on the coaching staff of the Toronto Raptors under Dwane Casey.[17] He was in charge of the offense during his time under Casey,[16][18] and in the 2017–18 season he was credited for changes to the Raptors offensive game plan which included increases in passing and 3-point attempts.[19][20][21] The improved offense helped the Raptors win a franchise-record 59 games, but the team was swept in the second round of the 2018 NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Casey was fired shortly thereafter.[22]

On June 14, 2018, the Raptors promoted Nurse to the position of head coach to succeed Casey.[23] In his first season, he guided the Raptors to a 58–24 record, led by offseason acquisition (and eventual Finals MVP) Kawhi Leonard and emerging star Pascal Siakam, who would go on to win the NBA's Most Improved Player award.[24] On May 25, 2019, Nurse coached the Raptors to the 2019 NBA Finals, the first for the franchise, after taking the Eastern Conference Championship by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.[25] On June 13, Nurse became the first head coach to win both the NBA and NBA G League (formerly D-League) titles,[26] when the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, winning the Raptors their first championship in franchise history.[27]

In Nurse's second season, the Raptors finished with a 53–19 record, despite losing Leonard to free agency, in a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.[28] He was widely praised for his creativity and innovation in ensuring that the Raptors were able to maintain a high level of play despite losing Leonard.[29][30] That season, Nurse qualified to be a head coach in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game as the Eastern Conference representative.[31] On August 22, 2020, Nurse was named NBA Coach of the Year.[32] However, the Raptors were unable to repeat their playoff success of the previous season, and were eliminated in the Conference Semifinals, losing in 7 games at the hands of the Boston Celtics.[33]

On September 15, 2020, the Raptors announced that Nurse had signed a multi-year contract extension.[34]

National team career[edit]

Nurse was an assistant coach under Chris Finch, for the Great Britain national team from 2009 to 2012, including the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

On June 24, 2019, Nurse was named the head coach of the Canadian men's national team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and beyond.[35][36]

Head coaching record[edit]

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Toronto 2018–19 82 58 24 .707 1st in Atlantic 24 16 8 .667 Won NBA Championship
Toronto 2019–20 72 53 19 .736 1st in Atlantic 11 7 4 .636 Lost in Conference Semifinals
Career 154 111 43 .721 35 23 12 .657

Personal life[edit]

Nurse and his wife Roberta have two sons Leo and Rocky Levi.[37] He also has a nephew named David, who previously worked with the Brooklyn Nets before becoming a personal trainer for professional players.[38]

In December 2018, Nurse's mother Marcella died.[39]

Nurse is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and was a guest conductor of the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field in 2019, singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."[40]

On June 20, 2019, Nurse joined Hamilton-based rock band Arkells at their sold-out Toronto concert to perform a cover of Stevie Wonder's hit song "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" on guitar.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spring Commencement [Program], May 12, 1990, University of Northern Iowa, 1990, p. 15, retrieved June 16, 2019
  2. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (May 31, 2019). "'We've got to take it ourselves': Nick Nurse's journey to the NBA Finals". ESPN. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Hlas, Mike. "Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach". The Gazette. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Grange, Michael (June 14, 2018). "Nurse's tough coaching journey set to get harder with new Raptors gig". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Raptors 2015 Preseason Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "Britball". Retrieved October 17, 2001.
  7. ^ a b Garman, Andy (April 22, 2010). "Energy Coach Nurse Takes ISU Assistant Job". KCCI. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "D-League Des Moines Team Announces All-Iowa Coaching Staff". NBA Development League. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  9. ^ "Iowa State, Nurse reach settlement". USA Today. Associated Press. July 8, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  10. ^ Peterson, Randy. "Peterson: Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is the ultimate basketball grinder — and it all started in small-town Iowa". Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Nick Nurse Named D-League Coach Of The Year – RealGM Wiretap".
  12. ^ Schroeder, Scott (April 30, 2011). "Iowa Energy Win D-League Championship Over RGV Vipers". Ridiculous Upside. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  13. ^ "NBA Development League: Q&A: New Rio Grande Valley Head Coach Nick Nurse". Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "NBA Development League: Reigning Coach of the Year Joins Vipers". Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  15. ^ Silva II, Dennis. "RGV Capsules: Vipers notch second title in four years". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Hinojosa, David. "Source: Vipers' Nick Nurse headed to Toronto". The Monitor. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Lebron, Steven. "The long, strange journey of a Raptors' assistant - Sportsnet.ca". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Stein, Marc (June 12, 2018). "Toronto Raptors to Promote Assistant Nick Nurse to Head Coach". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Harrison, Ian. "Toronto Raptors officially hire Nick Nurse as coach | NBA.com". NBA.com. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "Report: Nick Nurse agrees to deal, becomes Toronto Raptors' new coach | NBA.com". NBA.com. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  21. ^ Wolstat, Ryan (June 13, 2018). "Raptors promote assistant coach Nick Nurse to replace Casey". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  22. ^ Stein, Marc (May 11, 2018). "Raptors Fire Dwane Casey Days After He Wins Coaching Honor". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  23. ^ Hurley, Brandon (June 14, 2018). "Raptors Name Nick Nurse Head Coach". NBA.com. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  24. ^ Conway, Tyler. "Pascal Siakam Wins 2019 NBA Most Improved Player over Fox and Russell". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  25. ^ "Toronto Raptors Eliminate Bucks for First Trip to the N.B.A. Finals". The New York Times. May 25, 2019. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  26. ^ "NBA Finals 2019: Nick Nurse becomes first head coach ever to win NBA and G League Championship". NBA.com. June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  27. ^ Scanlan, David; Frank, Steven (June 13, 2019). "Toronto Erupts as Kawhi Leonard, Rookie Coach Lead Raptors to NBA Title". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "2019 - 2020 NBA Regular Season Standings". NBA.com. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  29. ^ Prada, Mike (February 12, 2020). "How the Raptors' defense is making other teams see ghosts". SBNation.com. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  30. ^ "In Toronto, the defending-champion Raptors shed light on the future of NBA defense". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  31. ^ "Raptors' Nick Nurse clinches coaching spot at NBA All-Star Game". Sportsnet.ca. January 31, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  32. ^ "Nick Nurse Named NBA Coach of the Year". NBA.com. August 22, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  33. ^ "Celtics vs. Raptors score: Boston holds on to pull off win in Game 7 over Toronto". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  34. ^ "Raptors Sign Nurse to Contract Extension". Toronto Raptors. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  35. ^ "Raptors' Nick Nurse confirms he'll coach Canada at 2019 FIBA World Cup". Sportsnet. June 16, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  36. ^ "Nick Nurse named head head coach, Gordie Herbert associate head coach of senior men's national team". www.basketball.ca. June 24, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  37. ^ "Meeting Nick Nurse's Family". Fabwags.com. November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  38. ^ "David Nurse trains NBA players and has them make big lifestyle changes". HoopsHype.com. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  39. ^ "Raptors coach Nick Nurse's 94-year-old mother dies". www.sportsnet.ca. December 11, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  40. ^ "Cubs-loving Raptors coach Nick Nurse channels Harry Caray at Wrigley | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  41. ^ "Watch Raptors coach Nick Nurse join Arkells onstage at sold out show". CBC News. June 23, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2020.

External links[edit]