Sports

Raptors fire coach Dwane Casey

Raptors fire coach Dwane Casey

What happens now to the other coaches, who have been so instrumental, along with Casey, in the growth of the team and the players?

So the Raptors fired Casey, praising him on his way out the door.

The decision on Friday to fire the most successful coach in Raptors' history came four days after the East's top seeds were eliminated by the Cavs for a third straight season, including embarrassing second-round sweeps in the last two years.

Per the Toronto Sun, "Casey had defended himself on Wednesday amid speculation he would be ousted, saying he was "an easy target". However, sources say ownership wasn't prepared to swing a quick axe and simply go along with Ujiri's decision, which dragged out the process a bit longer until they could be sated.

Interestingly, the last time a reigning Coach of the Year was sacked was Denver Nuggets boss George Karl following the 2012-13 season and shortly after Ujiri left the Nuggets for the Raptors.

Ujiri said he spent "countless hours" evaluating the team in the days following this year's defeat before deciding to fire Casey.

Toronto is one of five teams with a coaching vacancy, joining Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Orlando. "But roster changes are a little bit more hard and complicated". Assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian, and G League coach Jerry Stackhouse were listed as possible candidates to take over.

Ujiri denied reports that Casey had precipitated his firing by seeking a contract extension.

More news: Election dates approaching, vote by mail ballots out this week

"I feel it didn't get us there, but I think it's credible". He said he hopes he wins Coach of the Year.

The Cavs, who were steamrolling through the competition by winning their first 12 games of the postseason, managed to beat the Raptors by an average of 15.25 points per game. It's a strong voice.

And although Casey led the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins this season and claimed the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award, the Raptors chose to move in another direction after they were swept out of the second round by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Both had told the media on locker cleanout day how much respect they had for Casey and how much they appreciated everything he had done to further their careers.

The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

DeRozan credited Casey with all of his success while Lowry called Casey "one of the best coaches out there". "He was huge for my growth as a man and an National Basketball Association player".

"We didn't always see eye to eye, but he let me be me ..."


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