Raptors renew coach Nick Nurse after playoff elimination

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Raptors renew coach Nick Nurse after playoff elimination




Nick Nurse, coach of the Toronto Raptors, during the second game of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics.


© Mike Ehrmann
Nick Nurse, coach of the Toronto Raptors, during the second game of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics.


Nick Nurse, winner of this season’s Best Coach award, renewed his contract with the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday four days after being eliminated in the NBA playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

In a statement, the Canadian team reported that Nurse signed an extension “for several years,” without giving further details of the agreement.

Last season, Nurse’s first as the team’s head coach, the Raptors surprisingly won their only NBA ring.

Despite the subsequent departure of star Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Raptors finished this regular season in second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 53 wins and 19 losses, the best winning percentage (73.6%). of its history.

In the playoffs, the Canadian franchise reached the Eastern Conference semifinals for the fifth consecutive season, but in that instance it was eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the seventh and final game at the headquarters of Disney World (Orlando).

Nurse’s renewal contrasts with the firing or departure of a large number of coaches from other teams eliminated in the playoffs, such as Billy Donovan (Oklahoma City Thunder), Nate McMillan (Indiana Pacers), Mike D’Antoni (Houston Rockets), Alvin Gentry (New Orleans Pelicans) and Brett Brown (Philadelphia 76ers).

“Our trust in Nick continues to grow, and part of that comes from what we’ve been through together,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement.

“The last two seasons have been like no other in the history of our team: first, winning our championship, and then navigating a global pandemic and committing ourselves to the long term in the fight against racism and for social justice,” he said.

“Nick has shown that he can train on the court and lead in life, and we are looking forward to achieving great things in the future,” he stressed.

Nurse began his career as a head coach in European basketball, where he spent 11 years training primarily in the British league.

In 2007 he returned to the United States to lead the Iowa Energy of the G-League, the affiliate league of the NBA.

Nurse is the only coach to win championships in the NBA and the G-League and to be named Best Coach in both competitions.

In 2013, he was hired by the Raptors as assistant to Dwane Casey and, five years later, replaced him as head coach.

“I have watched this franchise grow and rise to the top, and I am looking forward to the challenge of winning another championship,” Nurse said Tuesday.

gbv / ma

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