By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Toronto Raptors have fired head coach Dwane Casey on Friday morning. He was let go after being hired by the team in June 2011.
While the Raptors had the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors were manhandled by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Raptors appeared to be lifeless after LeBron James hit the game-winner in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semi-final series, then they were swept in four games.
Casey guided the Raptors to a 59-23 record this season. However, they struggled with the Washington Wizards in their first-round series and with the Cavaliers, as Casey’s playoff record was 4-6.
For his effort, just days ago, Casey was named the National Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year. The official Coach of the Year Award will be announced later, as Casey is a favorite to win it. If he does, he’ll take the reigns from Mike D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets head coach, who won the award.
The past two seasons in the playoffs, his Raptors teams went 4-6 in the playoffs. In 2016-17, the Raptors finished third in the Eastern Conference with a 51-31 record, but were also swept by the Cavaliers in the playoffs. In fact, Cleveland has ended Toronto’s season for three straight years.
Casey’s team nearly improved every season he was the head coach except one. Following a 56-win season in 2015-16, the Raptors fell to 51 wins during the 2016-17 season.
Casey was hired by the Raptors on June 21st, 2011. Since that time, he guided the team to a 320-238 record in the regular season and a 21-30 record in the playoffs. He also received five Coach of the Month honors during his Raptors tenure.
Prior to being named the Raptors head coach, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks. During his last season, the 2010-11 season, the Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat to win the NBA Championship.
He was also the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach for one full season and 40 games into the next. He went 20-20 into the 20006-07 season, before being fired. With the Timberwolves, he was 53-69 overall.
He began his NBA coaching tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics where he coached from 1994-95 through 2004-05.