While the Raptors are still out there slugging their way through the first round of the playoffs, head coach Dwane Casey, is winning awards. Today, Casey was announced as the winner of the 2015-16 Rudy Tomjanovich Award by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). The award recognizes the coach who cooperates well with the media and fans, while also achieving good results out on the court.
Casey joins an illustrious group of winners past, including Steve Kerr, Frank Vogel and the
late infirm Jerry Sloan. This year, runners up for the award include Steve Clifford, past winner Doc Rivers, Brad Stevens and the immortal Stan Van Gundy. Some seriously good company to be in.
For many Raptors fans, ragging on some Casey's in-game decisions is the in thing to do. But -- and I can say this from some meagre bit of personal experience -- he really is great at talking with the media and any other passers-by. Casey is known for remembering a lot of names (not mine yet, but still) and always seems to have a few moments to talk when the cameras go off. He humours wild questions, gives good quotes, and does his best to keep the atmosphere around the Raptors in a good place.
Casey's passion for basketball often comes to the fore, but he's shown there's more to him than just the sport. On the light side, he's been known to let loose a sly pop culture reference or joke here and there to keep people on their toes. And, more seriously, when the Toronto Star's Doug Smith was away from the team for a bit for health reasons, Casey was sure pay his respects upon the long-time beat writer's departure and return.
All in all, Casey's presence has made the Raptors a more fun and better team to cover. He has definitely earned his reputation as a good guy.
Now get in the comments and tell us how Luis Scola shouldn't start in Game 5.