Raptors' coach: Time needed to reflect on coaching future
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse reacts during the second half of their NBA game against the Washington Wizards in Toronto on Sunday, March 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Dan Gelston, The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 31, 2023 7:24PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 31, 2023 10:24PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Toronto coach Nick Nurse will take time in the offseason to consider if he wants to return to the Raptors for a sixth season or pursue other options.
With the Raptors under .500, Nurse's name has been linked to other coaching jobs and there have been reports Toronto could be ready to move on from the coach who led them to the 2019 NBA championship.
Nurse joined the Raptors in 2013 as an assistant and was promoted to head coach in 2018 after Dwane Casey was fired. Nurse would enter the final year of his contract next season.
“I think I'm concentrated on this job, for sure, and this game,” Nurse said Friday. “But I think that 10 years is a good time to sit back and reflect a little bit, right? I think we're going to do that all when the season ends.”
The Raptors fell to 38-39 after a 117-110 loss to the 76ers on Friday night and are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They would need to get to sixth place over the final six games to avoid the play-in tournament. They play the next four on the road.
“It's been a difficult season from a number of standpoints,” Nurse said.
The Raptors have weathered several key injuries this season to rebound to .500 for the first time since early December. But this offseason could be a pivotal one for the Raptors, who have remained solid under Nurse even as the team has suffered key losses such as Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan since winning the franchise's only NBA title.
“I'm going to take a few weeks to see where I'm at,” Nurse said. “Where's my head at, just see how the relationship with the organization is. It's been 10 years for me now, which is a pretty good run. I don't know, over those 10 years, we've got to be up there with number of wins for anybody in the league. I don't know what it is, but we've had a lot of good seasons.”
Nurse said discussions with president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster about his future will be tabled until the offseason - which he hoped could still be a fruitful one.
“My head is to make this as long a season as possible,” Nurse said. “This team needs playoff experience. That is where I'm at right now.”