After decades of churning through coaches, the Toronto Raptors finally struck championship gold when Masai Ujrii decided to part with Dwane Casey and hired Nick Nurse. This combination has helped Toronto overcome its postseason demons and remain a model of consistency.
In need of someone that can come in and steady the ship, the Los Angeles Lakers have been trying their best to entice Nurse into leaving to join their feckless roster. Toronto has spent the last few days going out of its way to dismiss the rumors as entirely nonsensical.
Nurse himself said that he is completely focused on coaching the Raptors and questioned how such a silly rumor could have even started. Ujiri took it one step further, cracking some jokes at the expense of an overly confident Lakers fanbase who thought Nurse was signed, sealed, and delivered.
Ujiri seemed to put the chances of Nurse leaving the Raptors at somewhere between 0% and 0.25%. Ujiri said that teams who may want to make Nurse their coach, but you can’t always get what you want. Ujiri said he wants Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to play for his team. Lakers fans should “keep dreaming” about hiring Nurse.
Masai Ujiri wants to keep Nick Nurse on the Toronto Raptors.
If we are willing to designate the Tampa season as an outlier, Nurse has made the playoffs and won at least 48 games in each of his other three years in Toronto. Winning 53 games out of 72 without Kawhi Leonard and taking a lottery team to 48 wins after just one season speaks to his acumen.
Nurse may be a Klutch Sports client, but the Raptors give him the luxury of one of the best NBA front offices and a young roster that will only get better. The idea of him leaving that setup to join Jeanie Buss and Kurt Rambis in LA would be unusual, to say the very least.
Poaching Nurse’s assistants might be the way to go for anyone who wants to bring his style of basketball to their respective team. Ujiri has already confirmed that he has been contacted about the availability of assistant Adrian Griffin and G League coach Patrick Mutumbo.
The Nurse rumors were never truly grounded in fact, and the latest bombshell from Ujiri seems to confirm that. The Raptors can head into the offseason knowing that they have one of the best coaches in the league in their building while the Lakers scramble to find a replacement for Vogel.