The Toronto Raptors fired Nick Nurse this week after a disappointing 2022-23 NBA campaign.
Coming into this season nobody expected the Raptors to legitimately compete for anything notable. That said, the organization was hoping to develop its younger players and put forth a respectable effort in the Eastern Conference.
They ended up doing neither.
And that is what resulted in the firing of the only head coach to ever win a championship with the franchise.
On the heels of Friday morning’s news, NBA insider Michael Grange broke down the real reasons that led to Nurse’s dismissal.
“Raptors [and] Nurse were meeting regularly,” he wrote.
“Sticking points have been lack of bench development, a play style that yielding intended results but was overly taxing given minutes for starters [and] created problems in other areas. Desire for more structure and accountability a factor too.”
It is hard to dispute that any of those things were issues. And it’s not like head coaches being on short leashes after winning titles is that much of a novelty in the NBA. Frank Vogel learned that lesson the hard way with the Los Angeles Lakers last year.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for these Raptors as presently constructed. Fred VanVleet has four other teams very interested in his services heading into the summer.
Whether he remains in Toronto or not going forward remains to be seen.
Ditto for whom the front office deems a worthy replacement for Nurse, who for all his struggles this season, is a good coach.
Impressive stuff as always from the Cincinnati Bengals. https://t.co/ar94pa9ijx
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 21, 2023
“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 part of this franchise’s most historic accomplishments, and who has been a steady leader through some of the team’s most challenging times,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement.
“As we reflect on Nick’s many successes, we thank him and his family, and wish them the best in the future.”
Who will the Raptors ultimately hire as their head coach come next season? What does the future hold for Nurse going forward? An answer to both those questions will reveal itself over the next few months.