Does RGV Vipers Coach Nick Nurse Deserve To Make the Jump to the NBA?

After winning the NBA D-League title with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Nick Nurse looks ahead to a possible coaching future in the NBA.

Last week, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers became the 2012-13 NBA D-League champions.

Of course, the Vipers were one of the initial favorites to win the D-League title, not only because of their wide assortment of pro prospects, but also their great coaching staff lead by Nick Nurse.

This is the second NBADL title of Nurse's coaching career, as he previously led the Iowa Energy (over ironically enough, the Vipers) to a minor league championship of their own.

The summer after losing the title to Nurse and the Energy, RGV management faced a little dilemma, when then head coach Chris Finch was brought up to the Houston Rockets to join Kevin McHale who, at the time, was just hired as head coach. To help fill that volid, the team looked no further than the man who took them down in the playoffs when they hired Nurse.

Nurse is still on board to be the coach of the team next season, but there's also a chance that he'll (deservedly so) make that much deserved call-up to the NBA.

Perhaps one of these middle of the road NBA teams with a new coaching vacancy (Milwaukee, Charlotte, Detroit and Philladelphia) could take a look at him. These rebuilding teams are surely going to be moving pieces around to see which will ultimately fit overall puzzle best, and Nurse is definitely used to that after being involed with a team like the Vipers. Rio Grande Valley was one of the more active teams to use NBA prospects via the Rockets, and that meant Nurse had to constantly adjust his lineup on a daily basis.

The amount of D-League coaches that have been brought up to the NBA has been slim. This past season, the amount of NBA prospects that were brought down to the D-League skyrocketed with a record breaking 184 assignments in the 2012-13 season.

With that in mind, head coaches like Nick Nurse are forced to build different rotations and lineups on a nightly basis, because the uncertainty that the D-League can bring. Austin's Taylor Jenson, Bakersfield's Will Voight, Santa Cruz's Nate Bjorkgren, etc. have all done a great job with their individual teams when it comes to that task, which could help them fit well in a rebuilding environment. Of course, Nurse will still take center stage because of his past accomplishments and experience.

Should Nurse not grab a head coaching gig with any of those rebuilding teams, he still could possibly find his way on the Houston Rockets' bench alongside of Chris Finch. The reason for that would be because Houston's top assistant and former Oklahoma Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson is believed to be one of the top candidates for both Charlotte and Milwaukee.

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