Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been leading the team since 2018, and has a career record of 138-88 to show for it He has come a long way in the coaching realm, and the NBA champion he’s earned rave reviews as an in-game strategist and player developer.
Nurse started his coaching career at Grand View University while just 23 years old. His journey in coaching started early and led him all across the world to try to find his place. He coaches in Europe for a long time before going back to America and coaching in the D-League.
He eventually made his way into the NBA as part of the coaching team for the Raptors in 2013 and has been part of the organization since then as an assistant and head coach. You don’t get this far in the coaching world without developing a rock-solid set of principles that guide you along the way.
During an interview on the JJ Redick podcast, The Old Man and the Three, Nurse shared a couple of important items that round up his coaching philosophy, namely making sure he instills a love of winning in his players and increasing their market value around the league.
Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse looks out for his players.
Nurse elaborated on his market value point, saying that there are ways to get players to get behind the system by reminding them about accolades such as All-Star appearances, MVP nods, and Sixth Man consideration. This is done in order to emphasize that winning teams usually have players that earn those awards.
There is no doubt that Nurse is liked within the organization, especially by players, because he always tries to find ways to get players “to another place and a better contract and a longer contract.” Espousing values like this makes it easy to get buy-in from players.
So far, the Raptors have been fairly successful under Nurse, except for the year in Tampa. Through no fault of his own, a lot of players were either injured or in the health and safety protocols.
Nurse has managed to deal with the loss of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, two of the best players from the Championship run, and boosted other players by developing Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby. Currently, that trio makes up the undoubted leaders of the team.
The Raptors are looking to make their way back into the playoffs after missing out last season. With all the players now back on the roster after returning from either injury or health and safety protocols, look for them to make a push into the top five of the Eastern Conference.
Regardless of the outcome of the season, the Raptors have a legitimate coach anchoring the organization.