Nurse, who led the Raptors to their first NBA championship in franchise history earlier this month, joined Hamilton rock band Arkells at their Toronto show to perform a song with them on guitar.
Fans posted photos and video on social media Saturday night of the rookie NBA head coach, clad in his signature black NN baseball cap, strumming along to a cover of Stevie Wonder’s hit “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” at Budweiser Stage.
In a video posted by Arkells on Twitter and Instagram Sunday, the crowd can be heard cheering loudly when Nurse makes his surprise appearance on stage.
Nurse had been photographed several times throughout the season — and Toronto’s playoff run — with a guitar flung over his shoulder.
Max Kerman, Arkells’ lead singer and a “massive Raptors fan,” said those photos caught the band’s attention.
“We noticed he had a guitar with him wherever he went, and must’ve been practicing throughout the whole championship run,” Kerman said in an emailed statement to The Canadian Press. “We figured he deserved a shot at the real thing. And you know what? That practice paid off!
“It was a thrill to have him up onstage with the whole gang. He was awesome.”
Arkells called Nurse “Canada’s hottest guitarist” in the caption that accompanied the video on their Twitter account. They also posted a photo series on Instagram of Nurse on stage, jokingly referring to the 51-year-old as “the newest member of Arkells touring band.”
“Plz note: he will not be able to tour during the NBA season,” they added.
The Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in six games to win the Larry O’Brien trophy on June 13.