Nick Nurse is a "prominent candidate" to be Houston Rockets' next coach: report

Apr 21 2023, 4:27 pm

Is Nick Nurse headed to Texas?

Nurse was fired by the Toronto Raptors on Friday, ending a five-year run as head coach of the team and a 10-year run in the organization.

Nurse has one year left on his contract, paying him more than $8 million, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. But Nurse may not want to simply sit back and count his money because at least one other team is interested in him.

Nurse is a “prominent candidate” to become head coach of the Houston Rockets, Wojnarowski reports. Houston is expected to bring LA Lakers coach Frank Vogel and former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka in for a second round of interviews, Wojnarowski says, that will now also include Nurse.

Nurse’s resume speaks for itself. The 55-year-old Iowa native won an NBA championship in 2019 of course, and took home Coach of the Year honours in 2020, after the Raptors posted an impressive 53-19 record following the departure of Kawhi Leonard. Nurse departs the Raptors with a franchise-best winning percentage (.582), as the team posted a 227-163 record during his tenure.

The Raptors missed the playoffs in 2021 but bounced back with an impressive 48-34 regular season record in 2021-22. Toronto finished this past season with 41 wins and 41 losses.

“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,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a media release. “As we reflect on Nick’s many successes, we thank him and his family and wish them the best in future.”

“This is an opportunity for us to reset, to refocus, to put into place the personnel and the players who will help us reach our goal of winning our next championship.”

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