Toronto Raptors: Winning Coach of the Year award is new norm for Nick Nurse

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse ( (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Toronto Raptors’ head coach, Nick Nurse has won the 2020 NBA coach of the year award for the first time. But winning this type of award is something he had done many times.

Everyone knows the saying “Everything you touch turns to gold.”  Well, it seems that every team Nick Nurse coaches find success. He has done it a multitude of times, with different teams across different leagues. And we already all know he has done it at the highest of stages with the Toronto Raptors, bringing them their first Championship history.

After the conclusion of Nick Nurse’s glorious first season, we all knew it wouldn’t be long before he would win coach of the year. Seeing the Toronto Raptors doing so well with the departure of Kawhi Leonard is what really set Nurse apart from the other candidates. Nurse led the Toronto Raptors — who many counted out as a top team at the beginning of the season — to a 53-19 record, which is also their highest winning percentage in history.

Looking at the voting results makes it even more fascinating. Nurse won in a commanding manner, no one even coming close to first place.

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Nurse, however, isn’t entering uncharted territory. Before becoming an NBA head coach, Nurse has won a coach of the year on three separate occasions already. It all began in the British Basketball League, where he won the award twice. Once in 2000 and the other time in 2004 — Nurse would also go on to win the BBL championship in 2000.

After doing it in England, Nurse moved to the D-League (now the G-League) and was the head coach of the Iowa Energy for four years. There he won his third ever Coach of the Year award (first in the D-League), as well as his first  D-League championship. He would also go on to be the first head coach in D-league history to win championships with different teams when he won in 2013 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Nurse’s success eventually gained recognition by the Toronto Raptors where he was signed as their assistant coach in the 2013-2014 season. Nurse’s arrival resulted in immediate success, as the Toronto Raptors would make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

Nurse would be Dwane Casey’s assistant for five great regular seasons. The Toronto Raptors had a 263-147 (.641 winning percent) record with Nick Nurse as the assistant. He would then become the Head Coach in the 2018-2019 season after Casey failed to find any playoff success.

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The rest as we know is history. Nurse would go on to win the team’s first championship and become one of the league’s best coaches.