LAKE BUENA VISA, Fla. — Nick Nurse says he wouldn't want his family with him in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World.
But he understands why some coaches would, and why they're missing their families right now.
The Toronto Raptors coach and wife Roberta have two sons — Leo, who's three, and Rocky, who was born during last season's playoffs. He has another son, Noah, from a previous relationship.
"I wouldn't have probably brought my family," Nurse said before Game 4 of the Raptors' conference semifinal series against Boston.
"Even though it looks like it's a really good setup for the families and kids as I roam around a little bit and actually talk to some of them, I didn't feel it'd be a great place to bring my family and kids, so it never really entered my mind or bothered me either way."
Players had family members join them at the beginning of the second round. Endearing video of Raptors guard Fred VanVleet seeing his two toddlers for the first time since July 21 went viral earlier this week.
But coaches aren't permitted to have their kids or partners in the bubble near Orlando. That prompted an outburst from Denver coach Mike Malone.
"I say, 'Shame on you, NBA.' This is crazy," Malone said. "I miss my family, and I think I speak for me, I speak for my coaches and probably all the coaches down here — 60 days and not having access and not being granted the privilege to have my family come here, to me, is criminal in nature. And that shouldn't be. Shouldn't be at all.”
Nurse felt Malone had a point, and said it affected more than just the coaches.
"We have tons of staff here that aren't allowed to bring their families or a significant other as well," he said.
The NBA confirmed Friday night that the policy may change later this month.
"We are hoping to add additional family members for other participants beginning with the conference finals," a league spokesman said. "We are mindful of the incredible hardship these restrictions impose and wish it were not necessary for the health and safety of everyone involved."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2020.
The Canadian Press