(TORONTO) The Toronto Raptors announced the firing of head coach Nick Nurse on Friday.
Nurse joined the Raptors organization in 2013 in an assistant coaching role. He became the ninth head coach in team history in June 2018, taking over from Dwane Casey.
The following year, he guided the Raptors to their first NBA championship. The Toronto team had in turn eliminated the Orlando Magic, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks before beating the Golden State Warriors in the final.
The 55-year-old Nurse was voted Head Coach of the Year at the end of the 2019-20 season after his team posted a 53-19 record.
“The decision to make such a change is never easy or taken lightly, especially when it comes to someone who has been integral to this dealership’s most historic achievements and has been a leader. consistent through some of our team’s toughest times,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said in a press release.
“This is an opportunity for us to relaunch, refocus and put in place the people and players that will help us achieve our goal of winning our next championship,” added the Raptors president. .
In five seasons as head coach, Nurse posted the best save percentage in team history with a 227-163 (.582) cumulative record.
In 2021-22, the Raptors finished the season with a 48-34 record and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the 76ers.
This season, the Raptors went 41-41 and finished ninth in the Eastern Conference. They were eliminated by the Chicago Bulls in the playoff qualifying tournament.
Nurse has served as head coach of Canada’s national team since June 2019. Two years later, he signed a contract extension that will take him to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Canada’s men’s team has not competed in the Olympics since 2000 in Sydney, Australia.