No matter how his tenure with the Toronto Raptors ended, Nick Nurse will always be remembered as one of the most important figures to ever be connected to this team. His five seasons as the head coach brought three postseason births and the club’s only championship ring.
With both parties sensing that change was in the air following a very disappointing 2022-23 season, Nurse left to become the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers as he tried to lead Joel Embiid to a championship. Nurse picked up his first win against the franchise which employed him for 10 years as an assistant or head coach.
Philadelphia’s 114-107 win against the Raptors featured a Nurse tribute video that was met with hearty applause from a fanbase well aware of what this man meant to a franchise that was synonymous with postseason failure before he took the reins.
In his postgame media availability, Nurse seemed to be clearly emotional when looking back and remembering his tenure in Toronto. Due to his work with the Canadian national team and the fact his kids were born in Canada, Nurse isn’t taking his Raptors tenure for granted.
Nick Nurse reflects on Toronto Raptors tenure
Nurse went 227-163 in the regular season as coach of the Raptors and 25-16 in the postseason. Even though he slowed up near the end, Nurse’s highs as a coach north of the border are unmatched and beyond reproach when compared to the rest of this franchise’s coaches.
On top of the fact he was able to manage personalities well during the early stages of his tenure, Nurse helped create a ferocious defense that was the main catalyst for Toronto’s postseason run and their continued ability to take down elite teams with undermanned rosters.
While it stinks to see him take over a rival like the 76ers, fans of Nurse will be happy to see him with a legitimate chance at a championship rather than hitting the reset button with a less heralded franchise. If he could win with Kawhi Leonard, why can’t he win with Embiid?