In watching the NBA, sometimes the insanity, of doing the same thing everybody else does, seems to bring into question the mindset of owners!
In the case of the Toronto Raptors, that is just where I’m at…with a question for the Toronto front office who do you think you’re going to hire that can do a better job then the coach you had in Dwane Casey?
The man who’s peers just made him the 2018 Michael H. Goldberg NBA Coach of the Year!
The early list includes Mike Budenholzer (a former COY with the Atlanta Hawks who just interviewed with the Bucks) who had the same problem, he couldn’t get by LeBron. Nick Nurse, a current Raptor assistant, one of the best young mind’s in the game (but I’m prejudiced her is a good friend) who would know the mindset of the current squad and its needs. Or another assistant and former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse… who has tools to be good NBA coach, they all have pluses, but none is Greg Popovich, Steve Kerr, or even Brad Stevens!
Dwane Casey went 320-238 in his seven seasons in Toronto, including three straight fifty wins seasons capped by this years 59-23 record that made them the No.1 seed in the East. But, losing in back to back years to LeBron and the Cavs evidently was the straw that broke the camel’s back in the mind’s of Toronto management. But the change of coach, without changes to the talent on the floor won’t change the results…in case you haven’t noticed Boston and Philadelphia have the best young talent in the East and Boston is going to be a formidable foe for Cleveland without All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Jordan Heyward…Oh by the way those guys return next year…just a heads up as you look to move forward.
But, for now the Raptors decided to get rid of their most successful coach in their history!
“After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and improve in order to get to the next level. We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. He was instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team, and we are so proud of that.”
Casey had one year left on his contract, worth $6.5 million, and thanks to that can wait and see if he wants to take a job now or wait and see what happens next year before he has to take a new position…something I’m sure he will find when he is ready!
As for the Raptors, I think they have to understand, that they need to evaluate all the pieces, something that should have done first, before making any changes…but they didn’t so whomever they hire as coach is going to have an uphill battle to correct the deficiencies they have and face as they try to get past the Cavs, 76’ers, and Celtics to reach the NBA finals…lots of work for a guy who inherits a team that helped earn its fired coach the POY honors!