TORONTO (AP) Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri hasn't forgotten the first time he met Nick Nurse.
It was 1995 and Ujiri, now president of the Toronto Raptors, was playing for the Derby Storm of the British Basketball League. Nurse was coach of the rival Birmingham Bullets. Not yet 30, Nurse had already been on the bench for six years, quickly establishing himself as a coach on the rise.
"His teams were tough," Ujiri said Thursday as the Raptors officially introduced Nurse as their coach. "There was always something about the Birmingham team that was different from the whole league. People talked about them that way."