Raptors' Nurse poised to coach Team Canada

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jun 17 2019 09:53 AM

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse gestures during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is seeking another title with another team.

Just days after the Raptors won the NBA championship in six games over the Golden State Warriors, Nurse said Sunday a deal was "just about done" to make him the coach of the Canadian national team.

"I'm getting ready to take another situation soon because I think it's going to be make me a better coach," said Nurse, who has extensive experience coaching internationally.

First up: the World Cup this summer. Team Canada will open play in the 2019 World Cup in China on Sept. 1 against Australia.

It has scheduled a warmup game against Nigeria on Aug. 9 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and also will play two pre-tournament games against Australia in Perth on Aug. 16 and 17.

"I expect we'll have Canada's most talented team ever, with most of our NBA players proudly representing their country," Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball said in May.

Prospective players for Team Canada are Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), R.J.Barrett (Duke, projected top-three pick in NBA draft), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Nurse, 51, was as an assistant coach with Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

"I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I'm hoping this experience will do the same," he said.

He presumably also would coach Canada in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"It's a unique time with the World Cup and the Olympics within a short 13-14 month window. And it fits in OK. I'm just giving up some vacation time," he said.

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