Nick Nurse was supposed to spend his summer in Tokyo coaching the Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball Team at the Olympics and sipping on coffee with Takeshi Shibata.
Shibata, who is the manager of basketball business for Nippon Bunka Publishing, developed a rapport with Nurse over the course of the NBA season while covering Yuta Watanabe and the Toronto Raptors this year.
Unfortunately for Nurse, Shibata, and the Canada Basketball, Saturday’s heartbreaking loss to the Czech Republic spoiled those pans.
“You and I were supposed to have a coffee in Tokyo so I guess we are going to have to wait on that this summer,” Nurse told Shibata following Saturday’s loss.
With Canada out, Nurse said he’ll be rooting for Watanabe and Japan at the Tokyo games.
“[Watanabe] is one of our players and you know how much I appreciate what he has done for our team and kind of how he plays and who he is,” Nurse said. “Let’s hope you guys have a great Olympic Games and Japan does everybody proud over there with their men’s basketball team, but just the Games in general.”
The 26-year-old Watanabe has a $1.7 million non-guaranteed deal for next season with Toronto.
Watanabe averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game on 44% shooting and 40% three-point shooting last year.