Rap­tors to ‘Nurse’ their wounds af­ter Casey fir­ing

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS - BAS­KET­BALL (AP)

NICK Nurse spent al­most three decades pay­ing his coach­ing dues, toil­ing with teams in Europe, and col­lege bas­ket­ball.

The chance he’s long cov­eted has fi­nally ar­rived.

Nurse has agreed to be­come the next coach of the Toronto Rap­tors, a source said on Tues­day. Nurse will re­place his for­mer boss, Dwane Casey — un­der whom he spent the past five sea­sons as an as­sis­tant. Casey was fired af­ter the Rap­tors were swept out of the sec­ond round of this year’s play­offs by the Cleve­land Cava­liers.

Nurse and the Rap­tors were com­plet­ing contract terms on Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to the source who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the agree­ment had not been an­nounced. ESPN first re­ported the hir­ing.

The move seems to sug­gest there will be at least some con­ti­nu­ity be­tween what the Rap­tors have been do­ing and what they’ll do on his watch. Toronto went 59-23 this sea­son, the best record in the Eastern Con­fer­ence and sec­ond-best in the NBA be­hind only Hous­ton — and Nurse was in charge of the of­fense, led by All-Star guards De­Mar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

The move comes a month af­ter Casey was let go and a day af­ter he was hired by the Detroit Pis­tons as their new coach. The Rap­tors al­ways raved about Casey’s work ethic, and Nurse took note.

“I’ve learned a lot about prepa­ra­tion from him, the se­ri­ous­ness of at­ten­tion to de­tail,” Nurse told Canada’s Sport­snet in Fe­bru­ary. “He’s been around the league a long time and he’s seen it all. That’s the big­gest thing. We have to pre­pare the play­ers and can’t leave any stone un­turned. We have to know ev­ery­thing the other team is do­ing and re­ally work hard and grind it out.”

Nurse grad­u­ated from North­ern Iowa and got his first head coach­ing po­si­tion at Grand View Col­lege when he was only 23 — some 27 years ago. He spent more than a decade in Europe, and was an as­sis­tant coach for Bri­tain at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

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