For most of the 2022-23 NBA season, it was assumed that if the Toronto Raptors didn’t make it to the playoffs, head coach Nick Nurse would be fired.
The playoffs have come, the Raptors didn’t make it, and Nurse is now officially out of a job.
The Raptors released an official announcement on Friday morning, stating that “Nick Nurse has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach.”
The statement continued:
“The decision to make a change like this is never arrived at easily or taken lightly, especially when it comes to a person who has been an integral part of this franchise’s most historic accomplishments, and who has been a steady leader through some of our team’s most challenging times. As we reflect on Nick’s many successes, we thank him and his family, and wish them the best in the future.”
Official statement from the Raptors on their coaching change: https://t.co/Ep4B8Ya4JF pic.twitter.com/dSw2BYkGll
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 21, 2023
As mentioned, the firing of Nurse isn’t too surprising as most analysts believed this would be Toronto’s first order of business as their summer break begins.
Nurse joined the team back in 2013 as an assistant coach.
He became the team’s official head coach in 2018 and then led them to 58 wins and an NBA championship.
That made him the ninth rookie head coach in league history to win the Finals in his first year.
Things haven’t been as smooth since then.
This season, the Raptors ended the year as the tenth team in the East with an even 41-41 record.
It feels like the franchise is on the verge of major adjustments.
Nurse is now headed elsewhere and there is speculation that other players – such as Fred VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl or even Pascal Siakam – could also be leaving.
For now, the team will try to ease the minds of fans by signing a new head coach.
There is a lot of talent on this Raptors roster so any coach would be lucky to lead it.
However, even more changes could be on the horizon for Toronto.NEXT: Pascal Siakam Shares His Choice For NBA MVP