Toronto Raptors Hire Assistant Nick Nurse To Replace Dwane Casey

  • Toronto Raptors Hire Assistant Nick Nurse To Replace Dwane Casey

Toronto Raptors Hire Assistant Nick Nurse To Replace Dwane Casey

The chance he's long coveted has finally arrived.

Nurse, 50, replaces Dwane Casey who was sacked last month after the Raptors were swept in the conference semifinals by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Toronto Raptors are hiring assistant Nick Nurse to become the franchise's new head coach, league sources told ESPN. The Pistons lured Casey with a five-year deal that was announced Monday.

Earlier this week there were reports that Ujiri & Co. had narrowed their list down to two candidates: San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, and Nurse.

Nurse, who is from Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa, also coached in the D-League, winning championships in 2011 with the Iowa Energy and in 2013 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

The move seems to suggest there will be at least some continuity between what the Raptors have been doing and what they'll do on his watch.

Lewenberg noted that if the Raptors passed on Nurse as head coach, they risked losing him altogether as he finished atop a Yahoo poll from early April among executives that tabbed him as the top head coaching prospect among National Basketball Association assistants. The Raptors always raved about Casey's work ethic, and Nurse took note. "We have to know everything the other team is doing and really work hard and grind it out".

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996.