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Toronto’s Nick Nurse wins 2019-20 NBA Coach of the Year award

Nurse becomes first to earn Coach of the Year honors in NBA and G League during career

NEW YORK — Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been named the 2019-20 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.

This is the first NBA Coach of the Year Award for Nurse, who is in his second season as an NBA head coach. Nurse, the 2010-11 NBA G League Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year with the Iowa Energy (now the Iowa Wolves), becomes the first coach to be selected as Coach of the Year in both the NBA and the NBA G League.

Nurse received 90 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters and earned 470 total points. Two-time NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks (147 points; five first-place votes) and Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder (134 points; four first-place votes) finished in second and third place, respectively.

Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The voting was conducted based on regular-season games played through March 11. The seeding games, which were played July 30- Aug. 14 as part of the season restart, did not count toward voting for the NBA Coach of the Year Award or the league’s other traditional end-of-season awards.

In games played through March 11, Nurse led the Raptors (46-18, .719) to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and the third-best record in the NBA even though the team’s top five players in scoring average missed at least 11 games each. During this period, Toronto ranked second in the league in defensive rating despite a 28-game absence for starting center and 2012-13 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and the departure of two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 offseason.

Nurse was named the NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October/November (14-4) and January (12-3). He guided the Raptors to a franchise-record 15-game winning streak Jan. 15 – Feb. 10.

Under Nurse, 2018-19 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam was named an NBA All-Star for the first time and Kyle Lowry earned his sixth consecutive All-Star selection. Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell flourished with larger roles, while undrafted rookie Terence Davis II emerged as a contributor.

Nurse was named the Raptors’ head coach in June 2018 after spending five seasons as an assistant coach with Toronto. As a first-year NBA head coach last season, Nurse guided the Raptors to their first NBA championship. He is the only coach to win championships in both the NBA and the NBA G League, having won titles with the Energy (2010-11) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2012-13) in the NBA G League.

Nurse receives the Red Auerbach Trophy as NBA Coach of the Year, joining Sam Mitchell (2006-07) and Dwane Casey (2017-18) as winners with the Raptors. Auerbach, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, coached the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships, including eight in a row from 1959-66.


1962-63 – Harry Gallatin, St. Louis

1963-64 – Alex Hannum, San Francisco

1964-65 – Red Auerbach, Boston

1965-66 – Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia

1966-67 – Johnny Kerr, Chicago

1967-68 – Richie Guerin, St. Louis

1968-69 – Gene Shue, Baltimore

1969-70 – Red Holzman, New York

1970-71 – Dick Motta, Chicago

1971-72 – Bill Sharman, L.A. Lakers

1972-73 – Tom Heinsohn, Boston

1973-74 – Ray Scott, Detroit

1974-75 – Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha

1975-76 – Bill Fitch, Cleveland

1976-77 – Tom Nissalke, Houston

1977-78 – Hubie Brown, Atlanta

1978-79 – Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City

1979-80 – Bill Fitch, Boston

1980-81 – Jack McKinney, Indiana

1981-82 – Gene Shue, Washington

1982-83 – Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1983-84 – Frank Layden, Utah

1984-85 – Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1985-86 – Mike Fratello, Atlanta

1986-87 – Mike Schuler, Portland

1987-88 – Doug Moe, Denver

1988-89 – Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix

1989-90 – Pat Riley, L.A. Lakers

1990-91 – Don Chaney, Houston

1991-92 – Don Nelson, Golden State

1992-93 – Pat Riley, New York

1993-94 – Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta

1994-95 – Del Harris, L.A. Lakers

1995-96 – Phil Jackson, Chicago

1996-97 – Pat Riley, Miami

1997-98 – Larry Bird, Indiana

1998-99 – Mike Dunleavy, Portland

1999-00 – Doc Rivers, Orlando

2000-01 – Larry Brown, Philadelphia

2001-02 – Rick Carlisle, Detroit

2002-03 – Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2003-04 – Hubie Brown, Memphis

2004-05 – Mike D’Antoni, Phoenix

2005-06 – Avery Johnson, Dallas

2006-07 – Sam Mitchell, Toronto

2007-08 – Byron Scott, New Orleans

2008-09 – Mike Brown, Cleveland

2009-10 – Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City

2010-11 – Tom Thibodeau, Chicago

2011-12 – Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2012-13 – George Karl, Denver

2013-14 – Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2014-15 – Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta

2015-16 – Steve Kerr, Golden State

2016-17 – Mike D’Antoni, Houston

2017-18 – Dwane Casey, Toronto

2018-19 – Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee

2019-20 – Nick Nurse, Toronto

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