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Raptors’ Nick Nurse enjoying time coaching Canada, says it’s an ‘adventure’

Nick Nurse, Raptors, Canada

Canada tapped Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse to lead the men’s national basketball team in this year’s FIBA World Cup. So far, the only NBA champion coach in Canada is enjoying the overall experience — traveling to different places, preparing game plans, and competing.

“Are you kidding me?,” Nurse replied when asked about his time coaching Team Canada this summer, per Mike Ganter of The Toronto Sun. “I’ve never been to Australia, I’ve never been to China. Every day is fascinating to me. It’s such an adventure … You get to coach basketball, you get to play in an incredible tournament in incredible venues. I don’t know. I just come outside every day and look around and say ‘What an adventure? How could this not be fun?’

“I’m excited about the competition on top of that,” Nurse said. “As a basketball coach, that is what you do. You live for the competition and try to figure out how to get a group of guys to beat another group of guys.”

After guiding the Raptors to the franchise’s first ever NBA title, there was no way Canada could not reward the World Cup gig to Nurse.

The 52-year old has had a grand debut year as the lead man on the sidelines for Toronto. Now, he gets to experience the international waters for the first time.

There are two current NBA players on Team Canada’s roster: Cory Joseph of the Sacramento Kings and Khem Birch of the Orlando Magic. Much like Team USA,  a number of players such as Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray and R.J. Barrett pulled out this summer to focus on the upcoming 2019-20 season.

Canada is set to face Australia, Senegal and Lithuania in the preliminary group stage of the tournament.