Nick Nurse faces lawsuit for breach of contract by former agent

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MARCH 17: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors looks on against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter at Little Caesars Arena on March 17, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

A civil lawsuit has been filed against Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse by former agent Warren LeGarie for breach of contract. LeGarie is also seeking financial relief and commission for Nurse’s contract extension.

As reported by USA Today’s Jeff Zillgit, “Defendant Nurse failed to do certain things required by the representation contract,” LeGarie said.

The lawsuit further states:

“Among other things, Defendant Nurse failed to abide by the terms of the representation contract, failed to pay Plaintiffs the amounts due under the representation contract, and failed to disclose to Plaintiffs the amount of the employment contract he entered into with the Toronto Raptors for the 2020-2021 through 2023-2024 NBA seasons, thus denying Plaintiffs the opportunity to be paid for commissions wed on Defendant Nurse’s employment contract for the 2020-2021 through 2023-2024 NBA seasons.”

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, LeGarie claimed in 2013 that he reached an oral agreement to represent Nurse in contract negotiations with NBA teams. LeGarie would reportedly receive a 3 percent commission on Nurse’s head coaching contract and 4 percent commission on assistant coach contracts.

Last September, Nurse, who is now represented by Andy Miller of Klutch Sports, signed a four-year extension, reportedly worth $32-million to return to Toronto.

LeGarie is now seeking commission for his portion of the contract that he claims to have negotiated for, which began after the 2018-2019 season when the Raptors won the NBA title.

Hunter Pyle, LeGarie’s attorney, also released a statement to USA Today about the lawsuit:

“Warren LeGarie has successfully represented numerous NBA head coaches and executives for more than two decades. He represented Nick Nurse for over seven years and successfully negotiated several contracts for him pursuant to the same agent agreement that is the subject of this lawsuit. Mr. LeGarie employed his considerable experience and relationships in the NBA to help advance the career of Mr. Nurse as he progressed from an assistant to the head coach of the Toronto Raptors. The lawsuit speaks for itself as to the facts and law on the matter. I have nothing more to say about the case at this time.”

Prior to joining Toronto’s coaching staff in 2013 as an assistant, Nurse coached in the G League, including stints with the Iowa Energy (renamed Iowa Wolves) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

He eventually took over the Raptors’ head coaching job in 2018, succeeding former coach Dwane Casey.

During his three seasons, Nurse led the Raptors to two consecutive playoff appearances, accumulated a 138-88 regular-season record, won the 2019-2020 NBA Coach of the Year award, and captured the franchise’s first NBA championship in 2019.

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