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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Nick Nurse unlikely to take 1 rumored NBA job?

Nick Nurse in a suit

Mar 8, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse gives instructions during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

One NBA team’s pursuit of Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse may be over before it even started.

Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports wrote this week that it is hard to see Nurse ending up with the Houston Rockets. Lewenberg notes that the Rockets, who went 22-60 this year, will not be any closer to competing for an NBA title right now than the Raptors.

The report adds though that Toronto will be making a decision this summer on Nurse, who has one year left on his contract. Raptors management also was unhappy with Nurse’s comments before the end of the season casting doubt over his future with the team, Lewenberg says.

Nurse, 55, has been a Raptors company man for many years. He began with the team in 2013 as an assistant coach and was promoted to head coach in 2018 after the firing of Dwane Casey. Nurse led the Raptors to their first title in franchise history in 2019, was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2020, and holds a record of 227-163 (.582) over his five seasons in charge.

But cracks have started to emerge in the two sides’ working partnership. Toronto went only 41-41 this season and lost in the play-in tournament after blowing a 19-point lead at home to the Chicago Bulls. There were also signs that Nurse wasn’t always on the same page as the front office.

Nurse used to coach for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, lending credence to the rumors that he might consider a return to the Houston organization. But the Rockets are planning to interview several other notable candidates too, so they have backup options if Nurse isn’t swayed by what they are building.

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