Veteran Coach Dwane Casey and the Toronto Raptors part ways after 7 seasons. During his tenure as the head Coach Casey led the Raptors to 4 Atlantic Division titles, 5 straight playoff appearances and a conference championship appearance during the 2016 season. Also Coach Casey led their franchise to 3 consecutive 50-plus win seasons, and franchise record 59-win season that earned them a #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Over the years Coach Casey began to take league by notice; NBA coaches have acknowledged the continual growth of the Raptors ball club. The Toronto Raptors had a historical season, which ended in total embarrassment; Raptors got swept to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second consecutive year. LeBron and the Cavs will advance to Eastern Conference finals and play the Boston Celtics; this is a bitter pill to swallow.
Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri notified Coach Casey to inform him that his tenure as the head coach has come to an end. A big part of this decision was attributed to being swept by Cleveland for the second consecutive season. Masai stated the magnitude of his decision and how difficult it was to proceed forward giving the fact of his relationship with Coach Casey; this is the casualty of business. In sports it's always interesting to witness how things are ran from a front office standpoint and in this case it wasn't a surprise for the Toronto Raptors Organization. Someone needs to be held responsible if the ship sinks and for Coach Casey he had to pay the price for his Raptors failures to pass LeBron James and the Cavs.
The NBCA selected Coach Dwane Casey as a Coach of The Year candidate, the list also includes: Coach Mike D'antino, Coach Brett Brown, Coach Coach Greg Popovich, Coach Quin Synder, & Coach Terry Slots. It's great to witness how Casey's peers within the NBA acknowledge his continual development and efforts toward his ball club. If Dwane Casey wins The Coach of The Year award he would become the second coach in Raptors history joining Sam Mitchell. The media panel will have the opportunity to submit their votes separately that will be announced on June 25th, 2018 and presented at the 2018 NBA Awards show in Los Angeles.
In retrospect Coach Casey has been held accountable for the Raptors failures this post season and with demanding pressures of overcoming expectations by the organization its time for the Raptors to try something different; someone needs to pay the price for the continual failures for the ball club. It's devastating to witness the Raptors end their season that looked very promising, now it is back to the drawing boards... Literally! After a thorough evaluation I think it's safe that Coach Dwane Casey and The Raptors have transformed into a "first class program".
Going forward Raptors President Masai Ujiri looks to find a new coach in place quickly, some possible candidates includes: former Atlanta Hawks Coach Mike Budenholzer, Raptors 905 Coach Jerry Stackhouse, Raptors assistant Nick Nurse, former New Orleans Coach Monty Williams, and San Antonio assistant Becky Hammon. All are great options for the Raptors as Masai stressed the importance of getting over the hump and bringing a championship to the Raptors organization. It would be nice to witness Raptors 905 Coach Stackhouse share his winning culture and experience with the Toronto Raptors; would be a special moment for our city. Will it a take for a coaching change to fuel the Raptors to get to the promise land?
Dwane Casey has rewritten history for the Toronto Raptors, becoming the most successful Coach in franchise history. His efforts guided a low-tier ball club to a front-runner in the Eastern Conference. During his tenure Coach Casey held a 320-238 overall record (.573) for the raptors with exponential growth every season. I could say confidently that Coach Casey will leave a lasting legacy in the NBA and it's only a matter of time for things to start clicking. Maybe Casey will return back to Dallas where he was an intricate piece to their championship title or maybe he will join forces with his hometown team the Indiana Pacers. Will the Toronto Raptors land a great replacement for Coach Casey's departure or will the Raps revert back to their old ways of underachieving as a ball club?
Thanks: Toronto Raptors, TSN, ESPN, NBCA
Figures: Dwane Casey, Masai Ujiri