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Raptors notes: Nurse thrilled to get all-star gig, Powell to miss weeks again | Basketball | Sports

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DETROIT — Nick Nurse is on quite a run. He’s followed up winning an NBA title in his first year as an NBA head coach to being named one of two coaches for the upcoming NBA all-star game in Chicago. Nurse and his staff will helm Team Giannis — a foreshadowing, Raptors fans hope, of Giannis Antetokounmpo being directed by Nurse down the line as a Toronto player (even though that’s likely wishful thinking).

Nurse and Co. Got the gig because Toronto will have the Eastern Conference’s second-best record after games on Sunday, the cutoff date for these matters. Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer is ineligible, because coaches can’t go two seasons in a row.

“We get to be the beneficiaries I think of a kind of an organizational award,” Nurse said after Toronto beat the Pistons on Friday.

“You get to go coach that thing, it’s certainly a tremendous honour for us, but, there’s a lot that goes into it and it should be a really enjoyable experience for our guys. It’s neat,” Nurse said.

“It’s neat to be around that event, the greatest players in the world all under one roof. And I think it’s gonna be a good experience for the whole staff all the way down through.” Nurse remembers going previously to the NBA Development League all-star weekend with his friend and current staff member Nate Bjorkgen. This time he’ll get to bring Bjorkgren, Adrian Griffin, Sergio Scariolo, Brittni Donaldson (the first woman to coach at an all-star game), Alex McKechnie, Jim Sann, Patrick Mutombo, Jon Goodwillie and John Corbacio.

“We gotta give those guys credit,” said point guard Fred VanVleet.

“Coaches don’t really get a lot of credit in this league, they definitely do a good job putting us in good positions, they’re flexible, they listen to us and with as little amount of practice time that we have it’s very important that we have good communication, trust and I think that’s something that’s been building for the last year and a half,” he said. “Even when we lose and we play bad, we pretty much know exactly what it is. We’re never searching for answers and that’s something you like to hang your hat on.

“I think we have a special bond with those guys, obviously winning a championship together, it’s a just a really cool experience. They did it as assistants but for Nurse to win a championship in his first year and in his second year be head coach of the all-star team and really for the rest of the assistants to go, it’s a great honour.”

As VanVleet noted, two years ago Nurse went to Los Angeles as part of Dwane Casey’s staff. Then assistant Rex Kalamian got to coach the Rising Stars game and one of Nurse’s assistants will do the same in a couple of weeks.

Casey, now Detroit’s head coach, credited Nurse and his crew for their work and said they’ll love the experience.

“It’s gonna be great for their staff … There’s no feeling like that, to go out and spend time with other players. It means you’ve done something right,” said Casey, who also went twice as an assistant.

“They’re competing for the top. It’s great for their staff to get that. It’s a feather in their cap. It’s on their resumes that they were an all-star coach. It’s an honour for them to be able to do that. Even more so, it’s an honour for them to get two kids, Pascal (Siakam) and Kyle (Lowry), Kyle this stage of his career, back to the all-star game.”

Casey got to coach against his players Lowry and DeMar DeRozan as the coach of Team LeBron. Nurse hopes he doesn’t have to do the same.

“Uh, I would definitely want (Siakam and Lowry) on my team,” said a smiling Nurse.

“I don’t want to coach against them.”

In addition to having its staff at two of the last three all-star weekends, Toronto is also the only team to have a starting player six straight years.

Lowry, one of those players, said he thinks VanVleet will make the game too before long.

“He will be an all-star, simple as that. I’m serious. He will be an all-star at some point,” Lowry said.

That’s certainly what VanVleet is aiming for too. He had a chance before getting injured this year.

“Year 4. Undrafted, and to be in the conversation at least, that’s good progress,” VanVleet said. “We’ll keep plugging away and see what happens next year.

“I think that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I can sleep at night knowing that I at least am close and I mean a lot to this team, this organization. And we won a championship. So I sleep pretty well at night,” VanVleet said.


POWELL OUT LONG-TERM AGAIN AFTER ANOTHER DETROIT MISHAP

DETROIT — Maybe the Raptors should stop playing games in Detroit.

The team learned Saturday that emerging guard Norman Powell will be on the shelf for an extended absence again after fracturing the fourth metacarpal on his left hand during Friday’s win over the Pistons. Powell, averaging career highs of 15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 28.2 minutes in 38 games (17 starts) has led Toronto’s bench in scoring 12 times. He is expected to miss at least a few weeks, based on similar past injuries for Raptors.

Powell, Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam had all gotten injured in Toronto’s previous game at Detroit, on Dec. 18, costing each of them weeks.

Powell didn’t miss a beat when he returned after missing 11 games, scoring at least 20 points in five straight games.

OG Anunoby should get more time at shooting guard in his absence (Anunoby played well at guard earlier in the season) and Patrick McCaw and Matt Thomas should also see more minutes.


RYAN WOLSTAT’S TIPOFF

BULLS AT RAPTORS

TODAY: 3 P.M. TSN/SN590

SCOUTING REPORT

Chicago wasn’t very good at full strength, but the injury bug has taken a big bite out of some of the team’s better players. Promising big men Wendell Carter Jr. And Lauri Markkanen are both out long-term. Veteran forward Otto Porter Jr. Hasn’t played in ages and standout defender Kris Dunn isn’t expected to face the Raptors, per the Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry. Chicago has dropped two straight after winning 2-of-3. Toronto is looking to tie a franchise record with an 11th win in a row, previously done twice.

MARQUEE MATCHUP

Zach LaVine vs. OG Anunoby

Anunoby will probably get the bulk of the LaVine assignment and it’s not an easy one. LaVine had a shot at his first all-star berth and is one of the most talented scorers in the NBA. LaVine averages 25 points per game and has scored at least 20 points in 17 straight games. Anunoby is not an easy player to light up though and Fred VanVleet’s quick hands and smart positional defence could also come into play on Sunday.

LaVine has shot just 10-for-31 against the Raptors this season, including 2-for-7 against VanVleet and 1-for-6 vs. Anunoby, per NBA.com.

DID YOU KNOW?

Veteran Chicago forward Thad Young has an AAU team that both Anunoby and Terence Davis played on … This is the third and final meeting between the two teams after Toronto won the first two … Serge Ibaka has scored at least 20 points in a career-high-tying three straight games … Kyle Lowry is likely two or three games away from passing Vince Carter for third place in Raptors all-time scoring (he needs 55 points to pass Carter, who trails only DeMar DeRozan and Chris Bosh).

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020



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Married At First Sight’s Nasser Sultan lands a surprising new gig

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He’s back! Married At First Sight’s Nasser Sultan lands surprising new gig as he returns to television

He’s the former Married At First Sight star who has made a name for himself chasing reality TV fame. 

And on Tuesday, Nasser Sultan, 52, landed a new television gig which will see the controversial reality star host his own talk show, Dab or Fab! 

Sharing exclusive behind the scenes photos, Nasser was seen getting his makeup and hair styled ahead of his return to television.

He's back! Married at First Sight's Nasser Sultan, 52, (pictured) has landed himself a surprising new gig hosting new series television series called Dab or Fab!

He’s back! Married at First Sight’s Nasser Sultan, 52, (pictured) has landed himself a surprising new gig hosting new series television series called Dab or Fab!

In the photos, he is seen wearing a Niall Horan shirt while he chatted to the hair and makeup team.

Another photo shows the star sitting on a red lounge on the Sydney set.

While it’s unclear if the show will be picked up by any Australian television networks, Nasser tells Daily Mail Australia his show ‘will air in Belgium, Italy and the UK’. 

Glam: Sharing exclusive behind the scenes photos, Nasser was seen getting his makeup and hair styled ahead of his return to the limelight

Glam: Sharing exclusive behind the scenes photos, Nasser was seen getting his makeup and hair styled ahead of his return to the limelight

‘It’s raw and no scripted stuff,’ he explained while he teased the project.

The new series will see Nasser, who failed find love on reality TV, join two co-hosts each week while they discuss and debate trending topics. 

Earlier this month, Nasser shared a photo of his blink-and-you-will-miss-it moment he appeared on Channel 10’s Bondi Rescue where he was seen going for a surf.

Coming soon: While it's unclear if the show will be picked up by any Australian television networks, Nasser tells Daily Mail Australia his show 'will air in Belgium, Italy and the UK'

Coming soon: While it’s unclear if the show will be picked up by any Australian television networks, Nasser tells Daily Mail Australia his show ‘will air in Belgium, Italy and the UK’

‘Let’s just add this to the list of TV appearances shall we? Bondi Rescue – the only way is up now,’ Nasser wrote in the caption.

He shared a photo of himself dressed up in a rescue uniform – the iconic yellow and red cap and rash shirt 

In the past, the part-time personal trainer has often been spotted at Bondi Beach enjoying the sun and surf. 

Nasser rose to fame in the fifth season of Married At First Sight. He was ‘married’ to Gabrielle Bartlett, but they called it quits before the finale. 

He was happy! The 52-year-old proudly shared a slightly blurry photo of his brief moment on the program in which he was seen going for a surf

'A celebrity's work is never done': Back in December, Nasser revealed to his fans that he would be appearing on Bondi Rescue

He was happy! The 52-year-old proudly shared a slightly blurry photo of his brief moment on the program in which he was seen going for a surf 

Rise to fame: Nasser starred in the fifth season of Married At First Sight. He was married to Gabrielle Bartlett (pictured), but they called it quits before the finale

Rise to fame: Nasser starred in the fifth season of Married At First Sight. He was married to Gabrielle Bartlett (pictured), but they called it quits before the finale

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Meghan Markle books first public speaking gig since leaving the Royal Family

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Meghan and Harry are moving closer to their goal of financial independence, with the Duchess of Sussex set to take the stage for her first public speaking job since leaving the Royal Family.

Meghan is appearing as the special guest speaker at a summit for the Girl Up campaign alongside an impressive lineup of famous faces, including former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Watch the video above

Girl Up has a presence in 120 countries and works to “empower women and inspire them to get involved in social change.”

“The present is female! But don’t take our word for it. Hear Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex’s advice for global girls leaders when she takes the stage at the 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit, happening virtually July 13-15!” read a tweet by the organisation.

Royal Commentator Victoria Arbiter told Sunrise the event was “significant” as it is “setting the stage for the type of work Meghan is going to want to do moving forwards.”

“This is an opportunity to launch herself as a philanthropist and as an authority on this topic on this side of the atlantic,” she said.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more of this going forwards.”

Royal Paycheck

It’s unknown whether the Duchess is being paid for the appearance, with rumours she is waiving a paycheck and using the gig as a platform to promote herself for a spot in the elite speakers stable.

Arbiter says Los Angeles based Harry and Meghan are in hot demand in the United States and could rake in mouth-watering amounts of cash.

“Let’s take an event in the future in which she could be paid… a number of experts in the field have said that individually Harry or Meghan could command upwards of $500,000 for an appearance,” Arbiter said.

“If they appear at something together, they could be looking at $1,000,000.”

“If Harry and Meghan want to maintain their lifestyle then they’re going to need to make some significant money moving forwards, and public speaking is the most lucrative way to do that.”

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Fox Sports inks Greg Olsen to future NFL game analyst gig

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The frenzied NFL TV free-agency market continues to move as Fox Sports has signed All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen to be its future No. 2 NFL game analyst, The Post has learned.

The contract will make Olsen the partner for Kevin Burkhardt after Olsen retires from the NFL. Olsen, 35, was going to leave the game for Fox after last season, but a $7 million contract and a chance to play with Russell Wilson made him change his mind to go to Seattle.

Even after Olsen inked his deal with the Seahawks, Fox Sports executives continued to make a run at him for this season, but will have to settle for after he plays his final game.

If Olsen were to decide to continue playing after this year, Fox would wait for him, according to sources.

The move to think ahead is similar to what NBC has done with Drew Brees. The Post previously reported that Brees has a deal with the network after his retirement from the Saints to call Notre Dame games and work NBC’s Sunday night NFL studio show with the chance to one day succeed Cris Collinsworth in the booth.

Greg Olsen Fox Sports NFL analyst Seattle Seahawks
Greg Olsen will join Fox Sports when his NFL career is over.Getty Images

In other big moves this offseason, Tony Romo re-signed with CBS for 10 years and $180 million in total value, while Fox’s former No. 2, Charles Davis, jumped to CBS to team with Ian Eagle on that network’s second game of each week. Davis replaced Dan Fouts, whom CBS chose not to re-sign.

For this year, the gap year between Davis’ departure and Olsen’s potential start, Fox has tapped Daryl (Moose) Johnston, a former No. 2 with the network, to be Burkhardt’s partner on its second game. Fox does have an extra playoff game this year. Johnston has been informed that Olsen is in the on-deck circle.

Johnston has been with the network since 2001. Last year, he worked with Chris Myers. Among others, Fox considered moving Brock Huard from the college game into the No. 2 slot, according to sources.

While Fox and NBC have made future plans, ESPN remains unsettled on what it will do for this year for its Monday Night booth as it waits to see if college football is played or not.

If there is no college football this fall, then the network would likely shift its National Championship-calling duo of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit to the NFL for this year.

If there are college games, then Herbstreit could be the analyst for ESPN’s top college game on Saturdays and the NFL on Mondays. This is not a done deal and ESPN is considering Louis Riddick, Brian Griese and Dan Orlovsky, as well.

Steve Levy is the leading candidate to be the play-by-player on “Monday Night Football” if Fowler is occupied with the college game.

All of the broadcasting moves have been made this year as the networks ramp up for the forthcoming negotiations with the NFL for the next TV rights. ESPN/Disney/ABC had its eyes on Romo to help gain traction for a Super Bowl run. It also tried to sign Brees before he opted for NBC.

Now, Olsen is off the board. He was impressive last year doing a Giants game. He also did his homework while teaming with Burkhardt on the XFL.

He will start out behind Troy Aikman on Fox’s depth chart. Aikman currently is the lead game analyst on Sundays and Thursday nights.

Olsen makes Fox more contemporary, which is important to NFL executives. He has shown he has potential to be very good.


Clicker Books: Papa Clicker weighs in on longtime Mets media relations whiz Jay Horwitz’s book, “Mr. Met: How a Sports-Mad Kid from Jersey Became Like Family to Generations of Big Leaguers.” While Horwitz has done his PR thing, gaining a lot of publicity for his book, the Papa Clicker seal of approval is very important. Papa Clicker recommends it for Mets fans who want a trip through memory lane of Horowitz’s dream job. The book receives 4 out of 5 clickers.

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