Toronto Raptors to hire Nick Nurse as head coach

Nurse succeeds Dwane Casey, who raised expectations even higher than he could meet and got hired.

Former Northern Iowa basketball player Nick Nurse is going to be the new head coach of the NBA's Toronto Raptors, according to ESPN's Adrain Wojnarowski.

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.

In charge of the Raptors' offence, Nurse played a pivotal role in successfully reinventing the way the team played last season.


The 50-year-old Nurse is known for his offensive skills as a coach, winning the D-League championship in 2010-11 and 2012-13 before joining the Raptors. Toronto also took the third-most threes in the league, up from 22nd place two seasons ago.

The short version of that: Hiring internally is unsexy, but most signals point to Nurse being a legitimately good candidate as an National Basketball Association head coach.

Casey was sacked last month and was hired by the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Ujiri called the decision to fire Casey "difficult but necessary" following the Raptors' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, the third time in as many years they've been eliminated at the hands of LeBron James and the Cavs. He is the school's all-time 3-point percentage leader with.468 (170 of 363). "I know where we started".

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