Title: The Raptors are eager to find safe harbour from controversy on court
Date: September 25, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about the Raptors’ desire to flip the page from a dramatic offseason and get back to focusing on actual basketball.
Through his travels as a player-coach in Britain, a coach in the G League and now, as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse has leaned on a single premise in times of tumult. And there’s been no shortage of choppy waters calling for a steadying thought. The British basketball landscape, especially for a smaller-market club, lends itself to predictable complications, and coaches suggest the G League environment racks up valuable experience in abundance. Just weeks after landing his first NBA head coaching gig, any veil of a drama-free beginning was removed quickly for Nurse, with the Raptors making one of the most dramatic trades in franchise history.
Just get to the court and everything will work itself out.
Now, perhaps more than ever, Nurse’s tenet — an Occam’s razor for the NBA’s wild, 365-day news cycle — offers solace.
“Of all the jobs I’ve ever had, there’s always things around the team, this and that. Let the team get on the practice floor and practice. Get the team to the arena floor for games,” Nurse said at media day on Monday. “I kind of think that’s the approach. I think Kawhi’s been around enough to handle anything, any positives or negatives that surround other than basketball. The important thing is we’re all going to show up and go out and do our work. That’s really our focal point.”