By Tom Ballato
Who is David Nurse?
When it comes to the basketball world, David Nurse is immersed in it.
But who is David Nurse? Well for starters his uncle is Nick Nurse, who is the head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
David Nurse started his college basketball career at Kansas City Community College. He averaged 17.1 points per game and shot an impressive 46.5% from three point range. He decided to transfer to Western Illinois after his freshman year. Nurse played three years at Western Illinois where he averaged 8.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He ranks 6th all-time in three pointers made with 160 at Western Illinois University.
Nurse was selected in the 8th round by the Iowa Wolves in the 2010 Annual NBA Development League Draft. He played alongside one of his best friends on the Wolves, Chris Lofton, who played at Tennessee and held three point shooting records. Nurse was waived following training camp by the Iowa Wolves.
He went overseas and had stints in Australia, Greece, and Spain. His professional career came to a close when he was cut by a division two club in Spain. When talking about his career, Nurse said, “I was 24 and there was no more growth. I came home and sat on my parents couch. I didn’t know what was next.”
It took Nurse some time, but he had a mindset change. “Everything I put into the game was to help others.”
Nurse enjoyed being around friends and building relationships when he played basketball. He played with Aron Baynes (Phoenix Suns) in Greece and they became really good friends. Nurse also grew up with sharpshooter, Kyle Korver. “I built genuine relationships. It is one my favorite things to do,” Nurse claimed.
After his career, he decided to help others by running and participating in shooting camps. Through the relationships he built, Nurse was introduced to players that have since become some of his best friends. These friends include Jeremy Lin, Kelly Olynyk, and Bryce Alford. Nurse had become a highly touted shooting coach, but he did much more than help players improve their shots. He became a mentor and life coach which has helped players become the best versions of themselves on and off the court.
The Brooklyn Nets took notice and brought in Nurse in 2016. He worked with the players and improved their shooting. Nurse was there for Brooklyn’s old and new regime as they went through a rebuild. When asked to describe his time with the Nets, Nurse expressed, “The Brooklyn Nets brought me on to turn things around. I loved the people and loved being around the guys with a passion.” The Nets went from one of the worst shooting teams to one of the best shooting teams in the league. Nurse attributes the turnaround to the hard work of the players.
After his time with the Nets, Nurse began to do consulting work with teams all over the world. He helped former UCLA coach Steve Alford with his players and became a consultant at UCLA.
Building relationships with players has its advantages and disadvantages. While talking with Nurse, he emphasized building relationships multiple times and how important that is to him. When asked about the toughest thing the has to deal with when he works with players, Nurse responded, “When guys don’t get what they deserve.” Our conversation went into his good friend Jeremy Lin not receiving any NBA interest and Nurse said, “It is almost comical he isn’t on a team. He is so talented, but God has a plan. More waiting and maybe a different path, but Jeremy (Lin) will be back in the league.”
Nurse went on to say, “The coolest thing is seeing Aaron Baynes work hard and win a championship with the Spurs. He put in the work and got a contract worth millions.” Nurse enjoys seeing the players and friends he works with succeed on and off the court.
This past season, Nurse’s uncle Nick Nurse won the NBA Championship in his first season coaching the Toronto Raptors. David had worked with several Raptors players including his good friend Jeremy Lin.
When speaking about coaching and if it is in his plans, Nurse claimed, “If it is the right situation. I have the competitive juices for it, but I love what I am doing now.”
David has coaches the past few summers in The Basketball Tournament, a winner take all tournament for $2 million dollars, with Eberlein Drive. He was messaged randomly by their general manager Matt Mitchell and they hit it off. ” Matt was very passionate about it and put Christ first. I agreed and was able to get my fix in coaching.
In such a short period of time, David was once again able to build relationships with the players. “Right after we lost this year the first thing I was going to miss was being around the guys. I loved the relationships.”
Nurse has a podcast called “The 1%er Podcast”. The podcast generated because he constantly wanted learn and it dives into the lives of the world’s elite professional athletes, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. The people he has on the podcast he reaches out to and develops a relationship with them.
According to Nurse, “The podcast shows people if you have a dream or goal it will eventually happen. It might not happen the way they envisioned it, but it will happen.”
Nurse has made some close friends though the podcast and wants people to believe in themselves when times are tough. It is called The 1%er Podcast because he challenges people to get 1% better daily.
Pivot & Go
Nurse’s first book Pivot & Go is set to come out in October. The book is a culmination of his entire life. Nurse shares his life story in the book and he said, “Playing in the NBA was everything. Then at 24 years old, I was cut from a team in Spain which I was playing well on. After five months, I had a mindset switch.”
The book tells about mindset shifts and how it takes 28 days to make a mindset shift a habit. On the 29th day it is your choice if you want to make it a lifestyle.
In his book, Nurse wants people to see things from a different perspective.