After standing on the sidelines for 82 regular season games during the 2017-18 season, former Toronto area man, 61-year-old Dwane Casey, was awarded the NBA’s Coach of the Year on Monday night. The ceremony was held in Los Angeles, with fellow winners for MVP, Rookie of the Year, and more, were celebrated.
Casey oversaw the partial remake of the Raptors for the 2017-18 season. Despite having a fairly similar (and young) roster, he was able to lead them to a franchise-best 59-23 record and their first number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Along the way, the Raptors finished in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency on the way to their best single season in franchise history.
This is the first time Casey has won such an award, after NBA coaching stops in Seattle, Minnesota, and Dallas. With the Raptors, Casey went a total 320-238 in his seven seasons. He was named Coach of the Month five times in that span, and guided the team to the post-season five times as well. Casey’s playoff record was 21-30, though he did guide the team to the Eastern Conference Finals once in 2016.
Here’s footage of Casey’s victory speech in which he thanks his wife, his kids, his coaching mentors, one of his former assistants (Rex Kalamian), and some of the players he coached in Toronto (namely DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and Jonas Valanciunas), before mentioning the facts of his current employment status.
For those who have followed Casey for some time, even now after having left Toronto, this speech summarizes the kind of person he is — appreciative, thankful, with just a bit of a sly grin to the hands of fate, and always a tongue slip away from saying something particularly sharp.
On behalf of the city of Toronto, Raptors HQ wishes coach Casey good luck in his future endeavours.