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Raptors coach Nick Nurse showing G League a good proving ground

Raptors coach Nick Nurse came out of the

Raptors coach Nick Nurse came out of the G League and hit a home run with Toronto's NBA championship.   Credit: Steven Ryan

The Knicks faced one All-Star Game coach Wednesday when Frank Vogel came to Madison Square Garden with the Lakers. And they might have faced the Eastern Conference coach Friday in Raptors coach Nick Nurse.

While the Bucks are coasting to the best record in the East ahead of the Feb. 2 deadline, Mike Budenholzer cannot coach since he had the assignment last year. After Friday's 118-112 victory over the Knicks, the Raptors are tied for second in the East with the Miami Heat.

Nurse, who already has an NBA title to his resume, said he would love the opportunity.

“Well, yeah, why not? It’s where I grew up, kind of my second city,” Nurse said of Chicago, which hosts the game next month. “Yeah, for sure. Tremendous honor, I think. Shows you had a good start to the season if you can make it. I don’t think it comes around every year in your coaching life, so yeah, it would be an honor.”

Nurse has made the move from the G League to the NBA and did it with a title in his first full season. Knicks interim coach Mike Miller, who also made the jump from the G League, thinks that the league is a good proving ground for players and coaches.

“He’s had a highly successful career, obviously has done very well as he’s gone through his coaching career,” Miller said. “Did well as a G League coach — D League at that time. I think the G League, just going through it with my experiences, there are so many things that you can gain. Everyone can gain something from that league. It creates the right environment for players, coaches, people working. It creates opportunities to really grow and it’s one of those things, it’s a fast track, too, because those games hit just like in the NBA, but you’re doing it with young guys. You’re seeing different things at that level, too. So I think it’s a great place where you can get what you need to continue to move your career forward.”

New York Sports