Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is the 2019-20 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.
Nurse becomes the third Raptors coach to win the award, and the first coach to win both the G League Coach of the Year Award and the NBA Coach of the Year Award.
Nurse was informed of the news ahead of the Saturday slate of NBA games by his former high school coach, Wayne Chandlee. Check it out:
Nick Nurse’s high school coach Wayne Chandlee joins TNT to announce him as the 2019-20 NBA Coach of the Year. pic.twitter.com/07he51qX2C— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 22, 2020
That is pretty dang cool, I gotta say.
As for the Red Auerbach trophy itself, the Raptors’ starting backcourt delivered the hardware to Coach Nurse:
The NBA’s Coach of the Year award is voted on by a panel of 100 media members. Nurse received 90 first place votes, putting him (checks stats) 85 votes ahead of his closest competitor, Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer.
Toronto’s Nick Nurse beats out Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City’s Billy Donovan in media voting for NBA Coach of the Year ... pic.twitter.com/nTvm9Amw8l— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 22, 2020
Nurse received 6 second place votes and 2 third place votes, giving him 470 total points and a landslide win. (My math tells me that two people did not have Nurse on their ballots, and I question both the sanity and the basketball knowledge of those two voters.)
Nurse led the Raptors to a 46-18 record before the NBA season was paused in March (only pre-Bubble results were considered in voting), which was one game ahead of the team’s pace last year — the year the team employed Kawhi Leonard and won the NBA championship.
Two years as an NBA head coach, and Nick Nurse has both a title and a Coach of the Year award. That is one heck of a start! Congrats to Coach Nurse on a very well-deserved win.