On Wednesday, Dwane Casey was announced as the NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Toronto Raptors to an Eastern Conference-best record of 59-23 this season.
And on Friday, Casey was fired as the Raptors’ head coach after the Raptors were swept 4-0 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
While the firing isn’t necessarily a shock after the Raptors’ embarrassing performance vs the Cavs (and their inability to get over the hump in the playoffs annually), this was still one of the most bizarre exits in coaching history. Casey went from Coach of the Year to being fired two days later. Think about that!
Whatever the case, Casey should be thought of positively by Raptors’ fans and the city of Toronto. He compiled a solid 320-238 record over his seven years in Toronto, led the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins this season, and led them to three straight 50+ win seasons.
And he left Toronto a pretty dang cool farewell message. Casey contacted The Star asking them to share this ‘thank you’ message for Raptors fans and the city of Toronto:
Thank you to basketball fans across this city and the country of Canada who supported the Raptors and welcomed my family with open arms during our seven years here. Thank you to all the fans who cheered us on at the Air Canada Centre while we built this program into a playoff contender, packed Jurassic Park even in the cold and rain, watched the games from home and offered their undying support as we traveled this road to relevancy together.
Thank you for teaching our all-American family the Canadian way. That being polite and considerate to one another is always the best way. That diversity is something to be embraced and celebrated. That taking the time to learn about each other’s cultures is the surest way to find common ground and understanding. Thank you for making our children feel safe, valued, and comfortable in their own skin. We cannot express how important it has been to build the foundations of who our children are as human beings in a country that shows through its words, actions and laws that all people deserve basic human rights, and a chance to reach their goals through education and hard work.