'I love being here' – Raptors coach Nurse discusses long-term deal

Oleh Sacha Pisani 25 September 2020 4
'I love being here' – Raptors coach Nurse discusses long-term deal

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said he did not have to think about signing a new deal as the NBA Coach of the Year heads into another uncertain offseason.

Nurse agreed a "multi-year" contract extension earlier this month after guiding the Raptors to their first championship in 2018-19, though he was unable to repeat the feat this season.

The Raptors lost to Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semi-finals at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Making his first public comments since re-signing and seeing the Raptors' title defence come to an end, Nurse told reporters on Thursday: "I don't know if it's a load off my mind or anything.

"Obviously, man, I love being here and love the job, and there's nothing not to love, man. I think it was just pretty much, it was time to renew a contract, and that's what we did. It was really, really easy, you know?"

Nurse added: "For me, I love coaching. I love the whole setup here we got, everything. For me, I just want to keep doing it. I want to continue to provide this city and this country with a tremendous amount of energy that they can all get behind and be proud of.

"It means a lot to me that everybody loves a team so much and we can go out there and give them, on most nights, something to really be proud of and play hard and look like we're organised and look like we're playing together and all that stuff. I love that part of it.

"That's really I want. I want to keep doing it. I want to do it in a place I want to be -- and here is where I want to be -- and with some guys I want to coach and with some people I want to work alongside."

While Nurse's future is secure, there are doubts over whether Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol will return as they enter free agency.

Nurse experienced similar at the end of 2018-19 as championship heroes Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green departed for the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers respectively via free agency.

There are also concerns regarding Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, who has one year remaining on his contract.

Asked if he was concerned, Nurse replied: "Yeah, for sure. We've been together, [general manager] Bobby [Webster], Masai and I, for seven years now. Only a real close working relationship for two, since I became a head coach, and we feel like a team. We feel like a team that leads the organisation. So yeah, there's a little concern.

"I was never concerned that they were not going to get a deal done for me. I feel the same way about Bobby and the same for Masai. If something changes, we'll do the best we can. If it changes, it will probably be for a good reason for somebody or a better reason. If not, we'll just keep working together."

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