Toronto Raptors fire coach Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse was fired as head coach of the Toronto Raptors on Friday, four years after he led the franchise to its first and only NBA championship.

Nurse went 227-163 in his five seasons with the Raptors and his .582 winning percentage is the best by any coach in franchise history.

The last three seasons have not gone as the team had planned. The Raptors missed out on making the postseason in 2021, a year in which they were forced to play home games in Tampa, Florida, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties getting teams to fly to Canada. They were eliminated in the first round in 2022 and lost a home elimination match in the play-in tournament this campaign.

“The decision to make a change like this is never easy or taken lightly, particularly when dealing with someone who has been an integral part of the most historic achievements for this franchise, and someone who has been a consistent leader through through some of the toughest times for our team,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said.

Ujiri referred to the move as “an opportunity to reset, refocus and build up the staff and players that will help us reach our goal of winning our next title.”

Nurse was part of the Raptors for 10 seasons, the first five as an assistant. Last March he hinted that he might take some time off after the season to decide on his future.

“See how the relationship is with the organization and all that,” Nurse said. “It’s been 10 years, which is pretty cool. Throughout those 10 years, we were able to be there and compete in a matter of wins with any team in the league.”

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And it was true. In that span, only Golden State (.661) had a better winning percentage than Toronto (.613).

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