Nick Nurse is a few dollars poorer today. The Toronto Raptors head coach was fined $50,000 by the NBA for directing profanity at officials following Friday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz.
Looks like Nurse made sure to get his money’s worth, too: Apparently he also tossed his facemask towards the stands.
Nick Nurse has been fined $50,000 for throwing his mask behind the scorer's table and directing profanity at refs on Friday.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 21, 2021
Here’s the full release from the NBA:
Throwing a face mask toward the stands and directing inappropriate language toward a referee has earned Toronto’s Nick Nurse a $50,000 fine: pic.twitter.com/FbeTZB06kl— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 21, 2021
What got Nurse so upset that he felt the need to throw his facemask in disgust and go off on a profane rant? Well, surely Nick noticed, as did every Raptors fan on Twitter, that the Jazz shot 41 free throws on Friday night, and the Raptors only shot 14. I suspect Nurse’s frustration also had something to do with the fact that anytime the Raptors breathed on Donavan Mitchell in the final minutes, the Jazz star went to the line, but when Pascal Siakam attempted to drive to the hoop, he didn’t receive the same benefit.
Here’s the thing, though: Whether or not Nurse’s frustration with officials is justified, you simply cannot throw your facemask. I’m sure we all remember a few weeks back when NBA mouthpiece Shams Charania threw shade at the Raptors coaching staff with this tweet:
Many of the positives cases, as expected, are isolated on one team (Toronto). The NBA postponed two Raptors games and the team is returning to action tonight. Sources said the internal spread seems to have arisen from inconsistent mask-wearing from coaching staff members. https://t.co/YkyI58T4wS— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 3, 2021
Nurse was pretty upset about that tweet, and while there definitely wasn’t any reason for the NBA to air that publicly... well, take a look at that photo up there! And now this mask throwing? It’s rather alarming that, even after sitting out for two weeks, Nurse still does not appear to be taking the safety protocols seriously.
With that in mind, whether or not the officiating was bad, the fine for the mask removal alone is fully justified. (To be clear, Nurse is far from the only coach with a bad habit of taking his mask off or pulling it down during games. Maybe the NBA needs to be sending out a few more of these fines.)
Nurse and the Raptors face the Cavaliers tonight, as they attempt to snap their seven-game losing streak.