Nurse began the formation of the Iowa Energy during a pit stop in Des Moines. 

By Michael Shapiro
October 25, 2018

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has made his fair share of stops along the global basketball landscape, coaching in the NCAA with South Dakota, in Belgium with BC Oostende and in the United Kingdom, leading four different squads in the British Basketball League. But Nurse's most unlikely contribution came in 2006 after his time with the Brighton Bears came to a close.

Nurse returned to Iowa following his time abroad, looking for a new career in the NBA's Development League, now known as the G League. Yet instead of joining an existing franchise, Nurse was struck by inspiration while driving past Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. According to SI's Jake Fischer, Nurse pulled into the arena parking lot off the side of I-235 and called the NBA offices in Manhattan. Adding the help of local politician Jerry Crawford, Des Moines was awarded an expansion franchise in 2007, the Iowa Energy, now known as the Iowa Wolves. 

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Nurse was one of four original employees for the Energy, pairing with general manager Chris Makris. The Carroll, Iowa native "had a hand in everything" per Fischer, controlling everything from the jersey colors to arena sponsorships.

You can read Fischer's full piece on Nurse's journey to Toronto here

Nurse's tenure in Toronto has been a successful one through the season's first two weeks. The first-year head coach sits atop the Eastern Conference at 5–0, led by 28 points per game from Kawhi Leonard. Nurse and the Raptors will next take the floor on Friday, facing off against the Mavericks at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. 

 

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