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Around The League

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

Official release

Aug 22, 2020 1:19 PM ET

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.

 
Nick Nurse expresses his gratitude for the award.

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.

NBA COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENTS

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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