The report of bad blood between former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and his replacement is not the big deal it’s being made out to be.
The two men spent five seasons working together in Toronto. As such, the connection will make for an intriguing subplot, whenever the Raptors and Pistons face each other.
However, it now appears there is more reason to keep an eye on contests between the two teams. At least according to a report from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.
On Tuesday, Feschuk claimed there was no love lost between Casey and Nurse. He goes on to write it’s safe to say the two men were not toasting each other’s good fortune.
Now, there’s no denying Feschuk has access to way more sources than this writer. In addition, it is perfectly understandably why these same sources have to remain anonymous; it has long been the way in the world of journalism, no matter how agitated the audience becomes by this practice.
Regardless, my gut instinct tells me this apparent fallout between Casey and Nurse is not the big deal it’s being made out to be. And really, the key to this opinion comes from this one key sentence by Feschuk:
"Multiple NBA sources will tell you the one-time mentor and his long-time assistant have not been on affable terms in the midst of Toronto’s coaching-staff shakeup."
With all due respect, you don’t imagine Casey and Nurse have had much time to be keeping in touch and swapping pleasantries recently, because of the coaching changes. They’ve both been more than a little preoccupied.
It is now just over a month since Casey had his world turned upside down by being fired by the Toronto Raptors. Since then, his main priority has been looking for a new head coaching job elsewhere in the NBA, rather than sitting around chewing the fat with Nurse.
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As for Nurse himself, his number one concern has been preparing and putting himself in the best possible position to become a head coach; whether it be in Toronto or elsewhere. Again, he doesn’t have time to sit down and reminisce about the (mostly) good old days of the past five seasons.
At the same time, there is little reason to believe either man has it in for the other. Nurse learned an awful lot under Casey, who knows his former assistant coach had nothing to do with his dismissal in Toronto.
Now, we’re not going to say there wasn’t some friction between Casey and Nurse, during their five seasons together. For example, Feschuk references a league source when writing that the latter’s offence-forward suggestions were never fully heard or understood, by the defence-first philosophy of his head coach.
However, we are all well aware that there will be differences of opinion — and even sometimes clashes — in any workplace, regardless of the environment or industry. Working in the NBA is no different.
Ultimately, it will be interesting every time the Raptors and Pistons face each other next season, in large part because of the history between Nurse and Casey. However, there’s no need to embellish the storyline with tales of bad blood between the two men.
What is your take regarding the reported fallout between Casey and Nurse? Do you think it’s a big deal, or believe it is not really a matter for much concern. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.