Toronto Raptors

Head coach Nick Nurse expresses love and gratitude for 'fabulous' city of Toronto and Raptors organization

Raptors fans may feel lucky to have Nick Nurse coach their team. In just two short seasons Nurse has found himself recognized as one of the best coaches in the NBA.

With a championship, a Coach of the Year award and a brand new contract already under his belt, Nurse is feeling as grateful for the opportunity to coach the Raptors as they are to have him.

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Nurse spoke about his feelings towards the team and city on ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski's 'Woj Pod' this week.

"There's no doubt about it I think about that often about how, you know, well grateful I am," Nurse said on the podcast. "Not only is our team great and Masai (Ujiri) is great and our ownership is...there's a lot but our ownership (is great) but Toronto is a fabulous place to live.

"The ride that, that we took the country on, on the way to that championship and like, how many millions of basketball fans we created in, literally two series.

"I think, half the country was watching and the other half started once we got to the Conference Finals and fell in love with the team and the sport, so there's so much.

"I tell everybody this all the time. This place is unique. It's always been unique, but it's like a really good unique and it continues to be because of that. I'm kind of an international guy I've lived in a few countries and I kind of like the spirit of the cultural diversity here in Toronto. I like the spirit of cultural diversity in our organization and our staff, the team. But I'm lucky and I try not...I hope I don't forget that very often how fortunate I was to be given such a good team and a good job."

Nurse also spoke on how different the feeling of the biggest game of the year was in the bubble. Game 7 against the Boston Celtics would've had the country on fire similar to the way it was buzzing a season ago when the Raptors made their championship run.

Not having the homecourt advantage at Scotiabank Arena stuck out to Nurse, but the lead up to the crucial game and the energy in the city was missed by the Raptors' bench boss the most.

"People asked me about Game 7 (against) Boston, it should have been at home, was that a big factor," Nurse continued.

"Yeah okay, maybe but what the factor like you just said, the electricity, that energy and positivity, that a city feels when there's a Game 7 thumping in town. Coming up for the days leading up to the day. Everybody in the streets, that's what was a factor.

"We're all under the same conditions in the bubble, but I'm saying that you know the people in this city in this country missed that energy and electricity and whatever.

"That's what's the biggest shame is I think but I don't know I think we're a long way away from getting back to that. I think like you and me and everybody else and I think just the casual Raptors fan is longing for that because even when you're watching it on TV, you see a shot of everybody outside having a time, dancing in the streets is uplifting for everybody to see them (even) sitting in their living room apartment or wherever."

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