Raptors Head of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri The head coach spoke to the media on Friday following the sacking Nick Nurse.
While Ujiri didn’t give a concrete reason why he felt it was time to go in a different direction, he writes that “complacency” and “selfishness” are season-long issues for the team. Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Ujiri also said he doesn’t enjoy watching the Raptors play in 2022/23.
“You can watch it all year round. Never had that full excitement. That whole spirit never existed,” said Ujiri.That unity (feeling) was never there. We all saw it. You all saw it. This is not what we are creating here… this is not a person or a finger pointing. I didn’t point a finger at Nick. I have to take responsibility for this too. As the head of this organization, I will do that. It’s not us. Not us this year. I think everyone saw it.”
Nurse’s reluctance to play young bench players was another factor in the decision, Grange notes. Ujiri still believes the team has talent, but they haven’t been given much opportunity to learn on the go.
“…I think one of the things we’ve talked about is all the young players we have, getting some of these players a little bit more use.,” said Ujiri.Like giving them room to show if they have it or not (it). I don’t think we did a good job of that this year. I think that hurt some of our young players.”
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- There were other internal problems as well. says a competitive assistant coach Grange Toronto’s coaching staff was known to be “less than organized”. Even if she keeps her job, Grange says there could be “huge changes” to the nurses’ staff. This is consistent with a report by Doug Smith of the Toronto Star (Twitter link), who heard from league sources that the Raptors are interviewing potential assistant coaches this week in anticipation of a “mass exodus.”
- The nurse was reluctant to be “bad” at times. One player tells Grange that Ujiri, not the nurse, is responsible for talking to the team after their lackluster performances this season.
- However, Nurse will have no problem finding a new head coaching job and poor results in 2022/23 will not fall solely on him. “If he wants a job, he will get a jobA tournament general manager told Grange.
- Ujiri believes more changes are needed to get the team moving in the right direction, and that starts with him, per John Sidley-Hill of The Canadian Press (connection via The Toronto Star). “Let’s look at the list in another way. We have to somehow find filming on this list. We need to figure out who fits and who doesn’t,” said Ujiri.Overall, people can be managed better. Let’s look at things a little deeper because when we hire people I let them do their job. It’s been our forte for the last 10 years, but I’m focusing a little more now.”
- Ujiri praised the trade deadline acquisition Jacob PoeltlWho will be an unrestricted free agent this summer? Tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. Ujiri called Poeltl a top-10 center in the NBA, and Murphy believes his high basketball IQ and playing style make him a “championship piece.”
- The longtime president looks ahead Otto Porter He has a $6.3MM player option for 2023/24 – to return next season, Grange (Twitter link) Ujiri also said the Raptors plan to hang on to the two-way guard Jeff Dowdin At the end of 22/23 he did not convert his contract to a fixed contract.
- As for what is attached to MagiciansNew front office vacancy following layoffs Tommy Shepherd, Ujiri says he’s not going anywhere. “I’m gonna stay here [Toronto],” he said (Twitter link via Grange). As Grange points out, Ujiri has three years left on his contract.