Raptors fire coach Dwane Casey after humiliating Cavs sweep


The announcement comes two days after Casey was named Coach of the Year by his peers.

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 made a decision to move in another direction after they were swept out of the second round by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Raptors' historic season came after Ujiri called for a "culture reset" last off-season.

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

He spearheaded a modernization effort in the team's playing style that greatly contributed to their 59 regular season wins and securing the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

"In some ways I think that time has come, you know like sometimes these things come to an end, relationships come to an end, and we will figure out a way to move on, a new voice and just new everything in terms of that position". He said he went with general manager Bobby Webster to speak with Casey in person.

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"We're not saying that this roster is ideal, there are things we have to do, there are things I have to do to get better, taking responsibility ... it's not something that I can change today, sometimes it takes two months, sometimes it takes one year, sometimes it takes two years, that's just the nature of how the cap works out, how the National Basketball Association works", he said.

"What an unbelievable human being", Ujiri said. He was speaking slowly and deliberately and appeared very close to tears at this point.

"I feel it didn't get us there, but I think it's credible".

And while Ujiri didn't say that Casey's playoff failures were the reason for his dismissal, and he said he hadn't spoken with Lowry or DeRozan until he let them know that he was getting rid of their coach, what those players said when the season ended must have factored into Casey's exit.

DeRozan made his "chess versus checkers" comment, saying the Raptors "didn't make the right moves at the right time".

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At Casey's season-ending news conference earlier this week, he said he understood how the criticism fell on him after the type of series Toronto endured.

And so, the Casey era in Toronto is over, if for no other reason than it was simply time to make a change. "But roster changes are a little bit more hard and complicated".

Ujiri denied reports that Casey had precipitated his firing by seeking a contract extension. It wasn't easy for coach Casey to win the East. "I saw everything he did here", he said.

He didn't deserve this.

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