NBA fever is abound and, man it’s exciting! Finally a Canadian team in theNBA finals – we sure have waited a long time for this. The Raptors have been a dream to watch this season, spotlighted in the last 2 series. They are the perfect combination of skills, teamwork, determination, effort and heart.
While the players on the floor are the superstars, it’s their head coach Nick Nurse who inspires me.
He played himself in the mid to late 80’s for the University of Northern Iowa and is the school’s all-time 3-point percentage leader at .468. Pretty respectable stat, but it didn’t get him to the NBA as a player. Instead, Nurse found himself coaching a university team by the age of 23, moved on to the British Basketball League, then to the D-League back in the USA. During his six seasons coaching in the D-League, Nurse had 23 players on his rosters called up to the NBA, before being awarded an assistant job for the Raptors in 2013. It was only last year that he was promoted to head coach.
So here he is, in his first ever NBA head coach role, leading the team to their first NBA finals in franchise history; filling a nation with basketball pride like never before… all without shooting a single basket.
Great coaches don’t have to prove they’re the best player to gain the respect of their athletes.
Nick Nurse doesn’t have to prove he can outdrive, out work, or even out 3-point shoot his players. Elite coaches bring passion, knowledge, strategy, inspiration, and motivation.
If your coach asks you "Are you ready?" and your answer is HELL YA!! ... you got a good one. If we as coaches get this from athletes and our community every single day, then we have proudly done our job.