'It was time': Nurse reflects on end of Raps tenure

Nick Nurse says he’s “fine” with the way his tenure with the Raptors ended, after he was let go by Toronto management following the 2022-23 season.

The head coach is back in Toronto, this time at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers, who will be the Raptors’ opponent on Saturday night. Prior to tip-off, Nurse took the time pre-game to briefly look back on his tenure with the franchise.

“No, I’m fine, it ended the way it ended,” Nurse said when asked if he was disappointed with how his time concluded.

Oct 16, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Nurse is now leading the Philadelphia 76ers, after spending 10 years with the Toronto Raptors. (Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA Today Sports)

When asked if he was surprised:

“I don’t think so. It could have went either way, probably play a little better, playoffs or play in or whatever. Like I said, when I left, many times, it felt like it was time, probably for both sides. Still feels that way to me. Just look around, and I look at them play and they look like they’re playing great. And I really enjoy coaching this team, you know, so I can’t replace what is supposed to be.”

The former Coach of the Year is most prominently known for helping the Raptors secure their first championship in franchise history in 2019, which marked his first year as a head coach after five years as an assistant.

He was let go after a controversial end to the 2022-23 season that included not making the NBA playoffs — a disappointing result that came a couple weeks after Nurse questioned his future with the organization, while on the road with the Raptors in Philadelphia.

He’s now back in Toronto, which has brought on an unfamiliar feeling.

“Just weird in general, being here the last couple of days in the city,” said Nurse. “But it’s good, good, I don’t need to tell everybody how great the city is, it’s fun to walk around a little bit, catch the vibe again, and all that stuff. So lots of 10 great years, lots of great memories.”

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