US basketball

Raptors fire champion coach Nick Nurse


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Raptors fire champion coach Nick Nurse

FAREWELL. Coach Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors end a decade-long partnership.

David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Toronto Raptors plan ‘to reset, to refocus’ after failing to reach the playoffs this season

Nick Nurse, who guided the Toronto Raptors to their one and only NBA title in 2019, has been fired, the team said on Friday, April 21.

The NBA Coach of the Year in 2020, Nurse spent 10 seasons with the Raptors, including five as an assistant, and had the best winning percentage in team history 227-163 (58.2%) and took the team to three playoff appearances.

But the team disappointed this season when they failed to qualify for the postseason, crashing out to the Chicago Bulls in the play-in game.

“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,” said Raptors president Masai Ujiri, in a statement.

“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.”

ESPN reported that Nurse is a top candidate for the head coaching position with the Houston Rockets. The network also noted that former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is expected to be a serious candidate to replace Nurse in Toronto.

While Nurse is leaving the team, he will not be leaving Canada yet where he remains head coach of the national men’s basketball team which is preparing for the World Cup and qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics. –

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