You could feel the immense amount of pressure bearing down on him as the playoffs neared.

But Nick Nurse remained true to his colors, exuding his trademark confidence within the comforts of his downtown New York suite in late March.

‘We are going to do some really cool, things,’ he said.

The Toronto Raptors head coach was pretty true to his word, wasn’t he?

The Canadian franchise’s first-ever championship, piloted by Carroll’s own, is unlike anything we’ve seen in the history of the NBA. Merely for its significance for the entire country of Canada, Toronto and how it reshapes the League’s landscape.

Sportsnet 590 show host Jeff Blair, a national pundit in Toronto and a Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer, tried to capture what the moment means to the North American country on his show Friday, June 14. He was ecstatic, just like every other Canadian, riding high off the Raptors’ victory over Golden State.

“We deserve this, all of us. We all are going to love it and deal with it. You finally have another title in this city. It’s Ben a long, long time for not just Raptors fans but Toronto sports fans,” Blair said. “There were times this felt like it was never gonna happen. This was won by a team that not only captured a heart of a city, but a heart of a country.

He continued, “A lot of people who didn’t watch basketball they watched because it was something different and they fell in love with the team.”

Toronto was ablaze Thursday night and well into Friday, as Blair and many other hosts spent the day rehashing the wonderful feat with fans, coaches, former players and fellow media members.

And rightfully so, the country waited 26 years for this championship, the first of its kind in the three major sports. The Toronto Bluejays won the World Series in 1993 - since then, it’s been relatively quiet up north.

That’s what makes Nurse’s achievement so spectacular. He won a title for an entire country, not just a city. He’s quickly, in just a single year, become a legend in Canadian sports lore. He also resonates magnificently in Carroll and the entire state of Iowa as a whole, showing several generations what can be achieved as a local Midwesterner.

So, let’s have our own parade in Carroll, shall we? I’m serious. Let’s roll out the carpet, welcome him and the trophy and have a party. Live it up. Toronto should’t be the only one celebrating this iconic sports moment. We deserve to have our shine, as Carroll helped shape the man behind the 2019 NBA title.

Nurse’s realative coolness, the ability to stay calm under pressure is what really helped spark the Raptors on their championship run. He even credited it himself during Sunday’s press availbity in Toronto.

“I think if I could say a growth area, it’s going to sound strange, but I wasn’t really that nervous (during the year),” the coach said. “I remember being a hell of a lot nervous earlier in my career. One of the most nervous times I had this year, was game three in the first round in Orlando. We were up 12 in the third quarter, all of a sudden, I thought holy sh*t, I’m nervous as hell. What’s going on?

He continued, “I went to half court, yelled at somebody and got over it.”

Though Carroll has a strong history of athletic success, they’ve never experienced a moment as significant and captivating as this.

Nurse rose from the bottom of the coaching profession, taking over a dismal NAIA program before rising through the British Basketball League and the NBA Developmental league. And now, here he sits on top of the basketball world.

He spoke to the media Sunday afternoon, trying to put into words what a championship meant to him.

“It’s hard to explain it, to be honest with you. Super happy for the team and the guys,” Nurse said in Toronto. “Whenever you get to the end with a championship, all those days that you woke up wanting (this), when you get there, it makes all the process really worth it,” Nurse said. “It’s been too wild to explain. Right from the buzzer sounding to the eight million things that’s happened.”

So where’s the former Kuemper Catholic Knight go from here, how’s he top this? He’s already a Canadian legend, how could he possibly one up the country’s first title in nearly three decades?

Well, bringing at least a silver medal home for Team Canada in next summer’s Olympics is a good start. Nurse was named the national team’s coach a few weeks back, and the cupboards certainly aren’t barren. He’s got NBA guys like Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, RJ Barrett and Tristan Thompson at his disposal. While that roster wouldn’t sniff a chance at upsetting the USA, they sure as hell could create quite a ruckus.

Bring a medal to a the hockey-loving country of Canada and Nurse will never have to buy a meal up there ever again. Plus, this opportunity gives him a chance to really show how great of a coach he is.

The Canadians take aim at the FIBA World Cup later this summer, then Nurse goes for back-to-back titles in the fall. The ride isn’t over, so let’s keep enjoying it.