Toronto Raptors manager Nick Nurse will let assistant Adrian Griffin take over the team for Wednesday’s match against the Philadelphia 76ers, which announced about 90 minutes before kick-off.
Griffin thanked Nurse for the opportunity during media availability.
“I think [Nurse] is a wonderful person, “said Griffin. He understands that a coach like me needs some representation to be the head coach. He knows my ambitions and wants to see me grow as an individual on and off the pitch. It was a great coach gesture. He approached me with it. It just shows the characters that Coach Nurse has. We have a first-class organization for a reason. “
Griffin̵7;s coaching career began shortly after his nine-year NBA career ended in 2008. He coached in Milwaukee, Chicago, Orlando and Oklahoma City before joining the Raptors in 2018.
“Just like when basketball players and athletes practice in the summer, there’s nothing compared to the conditions,” Griffin said. “You can practice all you want, but until you get into those matches and go up and down the field, it’s the same. It’s the equivalent of an assistant coach switching to the car. That chair. You do all the exercises you can in practice. But it’s good to have people representing that game. “
Griffin says he doesn’t try to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to coaching.
“I will try to follow the plan that Coach Nurse has come up with,” said Griffin. “It’s a great blueprint to follow and I’m going to let the tags fall where I can.”
The Nurse isn’t the first coach to slip over a chair in the NBA bubble, though he’s the first to do so in a regular match. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich allowed assistants Becky Hammon, Mitch Johnson and Will Hardy to coach Spurs in their three practice games last month.