Raptors' coach Nick Nurse against the Philadelphia 76ers.

COVID-19 positive tests and contact-tracing isolation with athletes have led to lots of games being cancelled, postponed or played with depleted rosters this year, but it’s been more unusual to see much of a coaching staff have to miss games over that. There have been some cases of particular head coaches like Alabama’s Nick Saban missing games, and we did see several members of the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff (including head coach Kevin Stefanski) miss their wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the most widespread one so far may be what’s going on with the Toronto Raptors at the moment. As Tim Bontemps writes at ESPN, Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse (seen above during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers) and five assistants have been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic:

The Raptors announced Friday that head coach Nick Nurse, as well as five assistant coaches, would be unavailable for Toronto’s game in Tampa, Florida, on Friday night against the Houston Rockets due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Toronto was already down an assistant coach after Chris Finch was hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves to replace Ryan Saunders as their head coach Monday. Another assistant, Sergio Scariolo, was already in quarantine after returning to the United States after serving in his other role as head coach of the Spanish national team for qualifying games for EuroBasket 2022 earlier this month.

It is unclear whether Scariolo will be out of quarantine in time to be on the bench for Friday night’s game.

Update: Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that Scariolo is in fact out of quarantine, and will be serving as head coach for this game:

But the team will also be without forward Pascal Siakam:

This is certainly a remarkably odd situation. And it will be interesting to see how the Raptors do without so much of their coaching staff.

[ESPN; photo from Kim Klement/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.