Rapture: Fifteen Teams, Four Countries, One NBA Championship, and How to Find a Way to Win—Damn Near Anywhere

Little, Brown. Sept. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780316540179. $30. SPORTS
Nurse, head coach of the Toronto Raptors, recounts his unconventional path to winning an NBA championship in 2019. After playing college basketball at Northern Iowa, he became the youngest head coach in the NCAA at age 23. He spent the next decade coaching and winning championships in the British Basketball League. Returning to the United States, he coached the D-League teams Iowa Energy and Rio Grande Vipers. He credits this international and D-League experience with not only exposing him to new styles of play, but also developing better ways to communicate with players. The second half of the book details the 2018-2019 seasion of the Toronto Raptors, including the acquisition of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. Nurse describes the pressure of overcoming past playoff failures, while documenting the team’s surprising 2019 NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors. Sharing his coaching philosophy, he advocates listening to players and giving them a voice to lead. He recognizes the stress that players face, and shows how he works with them to elevate their skills to find success.
VERDICT An engaging account for fans of the Toronto Raptors or for readers who also enjoyed Phil Jackson’s Eleven Rings.

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