Fresh off an NBA title as a rookie head coach with the Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse isn’t planning on taking much time off this off-season.
He confirmed as much on Sunday while on the podium during the Raptors first media availability session since returning to Canada as champions, telling the room that taking the job to coach Canada at this summer’s 2019 FIBA World Cup is “just about done” and that it’s “something I’m really looking forward to.”
Sportsnet’s Michael Grange previously reported that Nurse was “very likely” to take over as Canadian men’s national team head coach.
Citing sources associated with the Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Grange reported that both organizations “have been supportive of the idea, with the view that what is good for Canada Basketball is good for MLSE and the Raptors, and growing the basketball footprint across the country.”
Leo Rautins was Canada’s head coach the last time the team qualified for the World Cup back in 2010. The team wasn’t able to get past the round-robin portion of the tournament, then failed to qualify in 2014.
Jay Triano held Canada Basketball’s head coaching position over the past four summers, leading Canada to a 27-5 record over that span prior to stepping down from the position in March 2019.
Canada opens the FIBA World Cup in China on Sept. 1 against Australia.