April 21, 2023 -TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri didn’t see a lot to like this season as his team struggled to a .500 finish and a disappointing play-in defeat.
So Ujiri kicked off an offseason of change “on all fronts” on Friday by firing Nick Nurse, who led Toronto to its first and only NBA title four years ago.
“To watch us play this year was not us,” Ujiri said Friday at his end-of-season news conference. “I did not enjoy watching this team play. I think that spoke loud and clear to everything that went on this year. It bothered all of us.“It bothered coach, too. But sometimes we have to make change and we have to move forward.”
Nurse went 227-163 in his five seasons as coach in Toronto, where his .582 winning percentage ranks as the best of any coach in Raptors history. He also spent five years as an assistant to former Raptors coach Dwane Casey before taking over the top job.
Nurse had mused about his future before a March 31 game at Philadelphia, saying he planned to take some time to decide what he wanted next.
“Just see how the relationship with the organization is and everything,” Nurse said. “It’s been 10 years for me, which is a pretty good run. Over those 10 years, we’ve got to be up there in number of wins with anybody in the league.”