Raptors fire championship-winning head coach

Nick Nurse, who led Toronto to the 2019 NBA championship, is no longer the Raptors head coach. 

Nurse was fired by the organization on Friday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Toronto went 41-41 during the 2022-23 NBA season, missing the playoffs after losing to the Chicago Bulls in the NBA’s play-in tournament. 


Former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is expected to be a serious candidate to replace Nurse, according to ESPN, while Nurse is expected to draw interest from the Houston Rockets for its head coaching vacancy. 

“The decision to make a change like this is never arrived at easily or taken lightly, especially when it comes to a person who has been an integral part of this franchise’s most historic accomplishments, and who has been a steady leader through some of our team’s most challenging times,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “As we reflect on Nick’s many successes, we thank him and his family, and wish them the best in future.

“This is an opportunity for us to reset, to refocus, to put into place the personnel and the players who will help us reach our goal of winning our next championship.”

Nurse became the coach of the Raptors in 2018, going 227-163 in five seasons. He was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2020. 

The news comes after Nurse was noncommittal regarding his future in Toronto as the NBA’s regular season came to a close. 


“First of all, I think when this season gets done, we’ll evaluate everything, and even personally, I’m going to take a few weeks to see where I’m at, you know?” Nurse said, according to ESPN. “Like you said, where my head’s at. And just see how the relationship with the organization is and everything. It’s been 10 years for me now, which is a pretty good run. I don’t know, over those 10 years we got to be up there in number of wins with anybody in the league. I don’t even know where that is, but we’ve had a lot of big seasons.

“And then, right now, my head is to make this as long of a season as possible. This team needs playoff experience. So that is where I’m at right now … finish out these six, see where we land, see if we can’t creep up a spot or two in the standings, and then give them hell in the playoffs, see if we can get in a real series and take it from there.”

Prior to becoming the Raptors head coach, Nurse was an assistant coach in Toronto from 2013-2018. 

Source – https://www.foxnews.com/sports/raptors-fire-championship-winning-head-coach

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