Toronto Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse draws inbounding inspiration from Argos, shows fandom ahead of Grey Cup

Screengrab courtesy: Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse is throwing his support behind the Argonauts ahead of Sunday’s Grey Cup game in Regina.

The 2020 NBA coach of the year sported an Argos hat during practice Friday, ending his media availability by pointing at the headwear and letting his fandom be known.

“Let’s go Argos,” Nurse said, wrapping things up.

The native of Carroll, Iowa is more than just a CFL fan, however. He also draws coaching inspiration from watching the local Canadian football team, choosing to employ waggle-like motion as part of some of the Raptors’ set plays.

“That’s where we kind of got the idea, was going early one day to an Argos game,” Nurse told reporters. “We went over there a few hours early and we were watching them do their plays and stuff before the game and that’s kind of where we got it. We do it on out-of-bounds, on dead ball things because you can start moving before. You can move whenever you want to.”

Nurse arrived in Toronto in 2013 as an assistant, before taking over the Raptors’ top job in 2018. He led the franchise to its first-ever NBA championship later that same season, the last professional sports title to be won in The Six.

The Argonauts and Raptors share a common ownership group in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Maple Leafs, Marlies and Toronto FC. Last week ahead of the East Final, members of the Leafs wore Argos sweatshirts as a show of support.

The Raptors had not yet made such a gesture, though they had been on the opposite end of one. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort wore a Montreal Alouettes jersey ahead of a game in Toronto last week, going on to pound the Raps 132-113.

The Argos inflicted their revenge two days later, beating Montreal to secure a Grey Cup berth. They will face off against the two-time defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the title on Sunday, November 20 at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, with kick-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. EST.