2020 NBA Coach of the Year and ProSpeakers.com Speaker Nick Nurse released his first book this “Rapture: Fifteen Teams, Four Countries, One NBA Championship, and How to Find a Way to Win — Damn Near Anywhere.” In his new book and on his Virtual Speaking Events Nick shares anecdotes, reflections, and lessons.
Nick Nurse tells the story that After Kawhi Leonard’s remarkable buzzer-beater to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 12, 2019, the Raptors head coach went home, changed his newborn’s diaper and went to bed. The rest of Canada celebrated.
Now known as “the shot,” the historic moment has taken on a life of its own. The jump shot from the corner that bounced an improbable four times on the rim before dropping in was immediately embraced as a defining moment in Canadian sports history. It is the only Game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA playoff history, and it created a path to this country’s first NBA championship two weeks later.
In the book released this week, Nurse chronicles his childhood as the youngest of nine kids growing up in Carroll, Iowa, and his 28 years of coaching before being named head coach of the Raptors in 2018.
“Rapture” chronicles Nurse’s approach to coaching, and what he’s learned as a student of leadership and sports psychology, taking fans courtside and into the locker room.
In his Virtual Keynotes Nick speaks about the elephant he keeps in his office, a reminder that sometimes it’s better to just confront the elephant in the room. Players embraced it, he says, pointing to it or grabbing it before sitting down for a chat.
Nurse’s path to an NBA job – and earning coach of the year for 2019-2020 – has been long and winding, including stops with youth programs, college ball, NBA D-League and about a decade with several teams in England’s pro league.
Nurse talks about the fact that he’s loved every job along the way and has thrown everything he’s had into each one. He was always focused on getting better and landing an NBA job. But even if he wasn’t convinced it would happen, he was going to be ready if it did.
Coaching legend Phil Jackson, someone Nurse looks up to, provided the foreword for the book. He says Nurse has made a career of proving people wrong, but Nurse said that’s not his approach.
“I kind of like to do it the other way and just prove yourself right,” he said. “I don’t think proving people wrong is any way to get out of bed every day.”
Nurse, a musician who holds a master’s degree and is working on a PhD. Nurse has achieved not only the highest winning percentage in franchise history, but the NBA’s highest regular season winning percentage of all-time at .721 through two seasons.
Nick Nurse is an engaging speaker and loves to communicate his most popular topic is…
How the Raptors Coach of the year Nick Nurse Connected to Win a NBA Championship:
What’s it really like to run the Toronto Raptors? Look behind the backboard to hear tales from the bench, locker room and about the players themselves. Coach Nick Nurse distills his team-building methods in ways that apply to CEOs, business owners and leaders of all kinds—lessons for anyone seeking to inspire talented individuals to reach for their best selves and connect to the greater good.
A basketball team is an intimate workplace, in which blend is everything and character and communication matters. Nick Nurse views each new team like a start-up business—one composed of new players, new relationships, and new challenges. Each season is a series of discoveries as he learns how to unleash the extreme talent in each of his players and mold them into championship material in the NBA Championships. While he can’t control everything, he is responsible for everything—just like a CEO.
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