The Toronto Raptors have relieved Dwane Casey of his duties as the head coach. The Raptors' team president said the decision to fire Casey was difficult considering what he has done for the team, but that it was a necessary one if they are to move forward. Masai Ujiri praised Casey for having created a culture within the team and giving them an identity. The organization is proud and thankful for that. He said that the team was, however, trying to grow to the next level. Reports by ESPN were used in the construction of this article.

Impressive record

Casey was recently awarded Coach of The Year by the association of coaches in the NBA. He has been the Raptors' head coach since 2011 and bows out with an impressive 320-238 record. The Raptors are the only NBA team with 50 wins in three consecutive seasons. He also led the team to four titles in the Atlantic Division and made it to the postseason five times in a row. In the 2017-18 season, his team recorded 59 wins and was seeded the top team in the Eastern Conference for the first time in their history.

Casey leaves the Raptors as their longest-serving head coach and the all-time leading coach in terms of wins for the franchise. The dismissal of Casey seems to have been triggered by the team losing to Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs, coming just days after their elimination in the second round.

This was the third time in a row they have been eliminated by the Cavaliers. Casey had previously won the NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks while serving as an assistant coach.

Social media reacts to the news

The news of the firing was received with shock on social media. Some people felt the Raptors were unappreciative of Casey helping the team maximize its potential.

Tim Micallef tweeted how Casey changing the culture of the Raptors as one of the worst franchises in the NBA, but doing so with class and dignity was one thing to be celebrated. Another Twitter user opined that the firing was a shame and that with his record, Casey won’t be out of work for long. Others, however, saw an opportunity to make a light moment of the sad event, with one saying Casey failed to provide leadership by not hiring assassins to take out Cavaliers star player LeBron James.

No indication has been given as to who will be Casey’s replacement, though it is rumored that Mike Budenholzer is Ujiri’s favorite. Casey could also be tapped to take over another NBA team. The Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, and Orlando Magic are all currently hunting for a new coach. I wish Casey all the best going forward in his career.