Toronto Raptors Fire Coach Dwane Casey After Cavs Sweep
- Author: Angelo Rivera May 12, 2018,
May 12, 2018, 6:18
However, they were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, marking the third straight year that their season ended at the hands of the Cavs. After the game, Ujiri stormed into the Raptors dressing room at Quicken Loans - just out of sight of most of the players but not out of earshot - and rebuked Casey in the coach's office for failing to double-team James. Casey is widely considered to be a top contender for the NBA's own Coach of the Year award, which is voted on by members of the news media and will be announced June 25.
Ujiri thanked Casey for what he's done for the organization, saying Casey was "instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team". Casey will exit as the most successful coach in franchise history, with a 320-238 record and five consecutive playoff appearances.
Under Casey's watch, the Raptors improved in six of the seven seasons he coached. Toronto is obviously getting sick and exhausted of losing playoff games to the one team that always beats them, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Like I said, in terms of a collaboration, I don't think I'll work with a better person - maybe my dad. On Friday morning, Casey was indeed fired. But the National Basketball Association is a star-driven league, and while LeBron rose to the occasion, the Raptors top players faded at the worst times during the second round series. Ujiri chose to give Casey that chance, but after the Raptors went out with a whimper once again, it was clear that major changes were necessary.
Casey departs with one season left on his contract valued at an estimated $6 million. Remaking an expensive roster will be hard - he admitted as much himself on Friday - and a new voice at head coach will at least give the team something of a fresh outlook after a season that ended with such disappointment. But Toronto could not get past the puzzle of the Cavaliers and LeBron James in the playoffs. But I guess their front office wants playoff success.
Sure he was trying to offer a compliment to Casey, but optics of "I think of it as a celebration" just isn't great. However, the team has fizzled in the playoffs, never advancing beyond the conference finals.