Raptors sign coach Nick Nurse to contract extension
The Raptors took a major risk by firing highly successful Dwane Casey – the impending Coach of the Year! – in 2018. Still in win-now mode, Toronto pursued Mike Budenholzer. But Budenholzer chose the Bucks, and the Raptors settled for promoting Nick Nurse, an assistant with plenty of head-coaching experience around the globe but none in the NBA.
What a boon that turned out to be.
Sometimes, coaches look better early in their tenures. Small samples can get overestimated. New challenges emerge and paint a fuller picture. This caveat is fully noted.
But Nurse makes a case as the NBA’s very best coach.
He makes helpful adjustments in the playoffs. His defenses are especially creative, and getting his players to execute the varying schemes is no easy task. Players have developed under his watch. His offense is modern. When injuries hit, he reconfigures his rotation and keeps everything humming.
Nurse probably won’t keep winning 72% of his games, the best mark in NBA history. But as the Raptors transition to their next era, it’s nice to have Nurse on board.
This job security empowers him to be tough on his players. It allows him to continue exploring his outside interests. It positions him to keep coaching Team Canada. Maybe he’ll even garner more respect from his peers during the extension.
Most importantly, Nurse and the Raptors continue their fruitful partnership.