Dwane Casey fired by Raptors days after winning coach of the year
Just two days after being named NBA coach of the year by his peers, Dwane Casey has been fired by the Toronto Raptors.
The jarring news comes on the heels of a brutal playoff series that saw Toronto eliminated from the Eastern Conference in a fast and furious four-game sweep against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The #Toronto @Raptors have fired coach Dwane Casey. Do you approve? #WeTheNorth— blogTO (@blogTO) May 11, 2018
Basketball buffs had been expecting a shake-up of the team's staff after their excellent regular season devolved into LeBronto's graveyard — but still, canning Casey was a move that many don't get.
I don’t think Dwane Casey covered himself in glory in the series against the Cavs, but it’s a harsh decision to fire a coach who just won 59 games and has won an average of 52 games over the last five years with a team led by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) May 11, 2018
Casey, 61, is the most successful head coach in Toronto Raptors history.
During his seven-year-long tenure, he led the Raptors to four Atlantic Division titles in five seasons and helmed three consecutive 50-win seasons.
This year alone, Casey led the Raps to a franchise-record 59 wins in the regular season.
Really disappointed to see @Raptors caved to pressure for change and fired Dwayne Casey. 59 wins, great development of bench/young players, set up years of future success. Fired because Lebron beat us. Go ask Pistons, Jazz, Cavs teams in the 80’s about losing to Jordan every year— Dan Elmalem (@Dan_Elmalem) May 11, 2018
All of that said, he couldn't get his team to successful fight through its greatest post-season weakness: LeBron.
The Raptors blaming Dwayne Casey for LeBron is like Gotham blaming Alfred for The Joker.— Peter Novosel (@petenovosel) May 11, 2018
Fans are sad, but confident that Casey — himself a former basketball player and NCAA champion — will be back to work soon.
Over the last 5 seasons, the Raptors had the 4th-best regular season record in the NBA, and the best by any Eastern Conference team...— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2018
But in that time, Toronto is 9 games under .500 in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/HMl4adDySV
"After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take," said team president Masai Ujiri said in a press release on Thursday. "As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and improve in order to get to the next level."
If Dwayne Casey wins coach of the year he’ll be the 5th straight black coach to be fired within 2 years of winning the award... wow 😳🧐— Kori Saunders (@Saundersk21) May 11, 2018
"We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish him nothing but the best in future," Ujiri continued.
"He was instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team, and we are so proud of that."
“Raptors fire NBA Coach of the Year” is your headline folks. NBA coaches recognized Dwayne Casey’s value and the job he did this year. Another example of how chaotic and silly the championship-or-bust mentality is in every level of basketball.— Lyle Jones (@lylejones10) May 11, 2018
The franchise has yet to announce anything about the head coach's replacement.
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