Nick Nurse teams up with NBA legend ‘Dr. J’ for a good cause


The 2020 NBA Coach of the Year can add another title to his resume: Best Selling author.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse just released his book Rapture: Fifteen Teams, Four Countries, One NBA Championship, and How to Find a Way to Win — Damn Near Anywhere. In the book he discusses his relationship with the legendary coach Phil Jackson.

“We text quite a bit” Nurse said from his office in the Raptors training facility. “He was my mentor long ago he just didn’t know it. I was studying every move he made back in the 90s and I talk about it in the book.”


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Nurse also details in the book the trip he took to Jackson’s home in Montana after being named Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors. Both Jackson and Nurse at one point coached 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year winner Dennis Rodman.

“He was retired from playing in the NBA and was in the Big Brother house, the television show, and they had a celebrity Big Brother in England and man was it popular. They had 40 million people a night watching it in England and someone in our club had the idea to see if he wants to play when he gets kicked out and they said yes. It was really something, he was very nice, very intelligent and lots of fun for sure.”

Nurse recently announced that he was teaming up with NBA legend Julius Erving aka ‘Dr. J’. In March Nurse launched the Nick Nurse Foundation, a charity that will help implement basketball, literacy and music programs for children around Toronto. Erving is joining the foundation as one of the Board of Directors.

“One of my childhood friends Frank Molak who is also on the Board has known ‘Dr. J’ for years and I met him and we just hit it off. It’s really something because Frank and I are both from a small town in Iowa and at one point I had a ‘Dr. J’ poster above my bed as a kid so it’s a super surreal moment for me and we are so excited to have him because we are just hoping to help the area youth here in Toronto. We think his addition will be a great bonus for us.”

When the Nick Nurse Foundation was launched back in March, Nurse played a few songs on stage with the Arkells, but will we see a Nick Nurse and ‘Dr. J’ duet in the future?

“Probably” Nurse says with a laugh. “He doesn’t know this yet, we didn’t tell him that we just wanted to get him on board first. We will see if he has any interest in any musical instrument which I am sure he does and we will get him on stage.”

To learn more about the foundation go to