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 on 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 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 warm-up game against Nigeria on Aug. 9 in Winnipeg and also will play two pretournament 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), RJ 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 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 would presumably also 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 okay. I’m just giving up some vacation time,” he said.