Basketball

Raptors coach Nurse to guide Canada at Basketball World Cup

AFP-JIJI

Fresh off coaching the Toronto Raptors to the NBA title, Nick Nurse confirmed Sunday that he plans to coach the Canadian national team at the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

“It’s just about done and something I’m really looking forward to doing,” Nurse said of a deal to coach Canada in the global showdown in China this coming September.

Jay Triano coached Canada to a 27-5 record over the past four years but stepped down from the job three months ago.

“I think it’s going to make me a better coach,” said Nurse, whose prior stints included experience as an assistant coach with Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.

“I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I’m hoping this experience will do the same.”

Nurse, who would be in position to also guide Canada at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, became the ninth rookie coach in NBA history to take a team to the title when the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors last Thursday to win the best-of-seven NBA Finals 4-2.

Denver’s Jamal Murray, Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and Dallas forward Dwight Powell are among some of the NBA players who would be available for Nurse’s Canadian squad.