Toronto Raptors fans were heartbroken when their star player, Kawhi Leonard, was traded to the Miami Heat in exchange for a package that included Justise Winslow. The trade has left many Toronto fans feeling betrayed and angry, but one man is taking it to the next level by rubbing salt in the wound. Nick Nurse, head coach of the Raptors, forgot to mention Kawhi’s name during his post-game press conference on Saturday night.
The nba standings is a blog post by Nick Nurse that was published on February 2nd, 2018. In the article, he rubs salt in the wounds of Toronto Raptors fans by forgetting his star player is now in South Beach.
For the first time in club history, the Toronto Raptors were named NBA champions in June 2019. Now, when the 2021-22 season approaches, head coach Nick Nurse will have a difficult time leading his team to a.500 record.
Things have changed in Toronto, particularly with the departure of franchise legend Kyle Lowry this summer. Regrettably, Nurse may need to be reminded that his point guard has gone on.
Kyle Lowry is one of the all-time great Toronto Raptors.
Few expected Lowry to be much more than a competent point guard after six mediocre seasons. But the former Villanova Wildcat quickly rose to prominence.
Lowry was named to his first All-Star squad in 2014-15, his third season with Toronto. For the first-place Raptors, he completed the season with 17.8 points, 6.8 assists, and 1.6 steals. In each of the following five seasons, he was named to the All-Star team, with Toronto winning at least 51 games each year. The Raptors had never won more than 47 games in a season before Lowry arrived.
Despite the fact that Lowry and teammate DeMar DeRozan were unable to lead Toronto to a title in 2018, their fortunes improved in 2019. The Raptors reached their first NBA Finals after replacing DeRozan as the team’s go-to scorer with Kawhi Leonard. In three of the last four games against the Golden State Warriors, Lowry, who had previously struggled in the playoffs, shot 50 percent or higher. Lowry and the Raptors won Game 6 to capture the championship, highlighted by a 26-point, 10-assist performance.
With Toronto’s championship window now closing, the franchise’s star player made the decision to retire. Lowry has signed a three-year, $85 million contract with the Miami Heat, his fourth NBA club in 16 years. The 35-year-old is the all-time leader in assists, three-pointers, and win shares for Toronto, as well as second in points and games.
Nick Nurse had forgotten that Lowry was no longer a member of the Raptors.
The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry (L) and coach Nick Nurse (R). Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox
It takes time to adapt when you’ve had the same starting point guard for your whole NBA coaching career. Nurse was appointed as an assistant coach under Dwayne Casey in 2013, Lowry’s second season in Toronto, before being named head coach in 2018. With no previous NBA experience, the 54-year-old only understands how to bring the ball up the court as number seven.
TSN asked Nurse who he intended on starting in Wednesday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The head coach, in response to a question he’s undoubtedly been asked a million times, delivered an answer he’s undoubtedly given a million times.
Nurse said, “I believe it’s the same as the previous night.” “Give me a second to think about this… “Kyle, Goran,…”
Nurse was stopped by a reporter who reminded him that Kyle [Lowry] was no longer on the squad. The fourth-year coach immediately rectified himself, naming the rest of his rebuilding team’s starters.
Without Lowry, the Toronto Raptors will have to move on.
Last season, even with Lowry, the Raptors were a shadow of their former selves, going 27-45. Now that the six-time All-Star has gone on to Miami, it’s reasonable to anticipate the losing to continue in the near term. However, there are indications of optimism on the other side of the border.
To begin with, the Raptors no longer have to play their home games in Tampa, Florida, which is a positive omen. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby are among the major players of the championship squad that have remained. Without Lowry, the 6-foot-1 VanVleet seems to be in the greatest position to see his statistics rise, since he is coming off a career-high 19.6 points per game.
In terms of newcomers, Toronto signed veteran Goran Dragic and second-year forward Precious Achiuwa as part of a sign-and-trade deal with Miami. Dragic is a previous All-Star who will provide leadership and scoring punch for the younger Raptors, while Achiuwa, who is 22 years old, has some room for improvement. The Raptors also got the fourth overall selection in the NBA Draft, choosing Florida State’s Scottie Barnes. In his preseason debut, the 20-year-old stuffed the stat sheet with a 13-9-6-2-2 line in 25 minutes.
Seeing Lowry in a new outfit, though, will take some getting used to. Especially for his former head coach.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided contract numbers.
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