Raptors hiring Nurse to replace Casey

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He won D-League Coach of the Year in 2011.

The chance he's long coveted has finally arrived.

Nurse and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina were the finalists to replace Dwane Casey, who was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Raptors to a franchise-best 59 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season.

Toronto has chose to promote Dwane Casey's old assistant, and will hire Nick Nurse as the team's ninth head coach in franchise history according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse gestures during a game against the Detroit Pistons on February 29, 2016. ESPN first reported the hiring. At the very least, the Raptors would want it to be known that they at least interviewed their in-house candidate. The team ranked third in the National Basketball Association in offensive efficiency this past season, sixth in 2016-17, fifth the year prior, third in 2014-15, and ninth in 2013-14.

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996.

The decision comes a month after Casey was let go and one day after he was hired by the Detroit Pistons as their new coach. The Raptors always raved about Casey's work ethic, and Nurse took note. He also won a pair of titles in the G League with two different teams and was coach of the year there, too.