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Fellow head coaches vote embattled Dwane Casey Coach of the Year

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The Toronto Raptors are strongly leaning toward firing Dwane Casey after his team was again swept out of the playoffs by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That doesn’t mean Casey did a good job coaching this past season — the Raptors revamped their offensive style, played faster, moved the ball, Casey got their Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to buy in and adapt, and the team won a franchise-record 59 games. They were the top seed in the East.

The National Basketball Coaches Association — the association of NBA head coaches — announced Wednesday that Casey has been voted Coach of the Year by his peers.

“The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award for the top NBA Coach as voted by his peers is one of the most meaningful in all of pro sports,” said Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, president of the NBCA. “Dwane Casey once again maximized the Toronto roster to achieve the top record in the Eastern Conference. Congratulations to Dwane on this prestigious recognition.”

Other coaches receiving votes were Brett Brown, Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan, Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers, Quin Snyder and Terry Stotts. Notice that Boston’s Brad Stevens is not on that list.

This is the second year the coaches have voted on this awards. The NBA’s official Coach of the Year award (voted on by select media members) will be announced at the NBA’s televised awards event June 25. Casey will likely be in the top three in that award and could win it as well.

None of this is going to save his job.

After this latest loss, there is a sense that something needs to change in Toronto, and that feeling is not going to go away once the emotions from the playoff loss subside. Roster changes are not out of the question, but also would be difficult — Jonas Valanciunas has value as a big man and a reasonable contract, but there are not other teams out there looking for a more traditional big like him right now (to get teams to take him another player, a young talent they like, will have to be attached to the deal). Would GM Massai Ujiri break up the DeRozan/Lowry backcourt? Could he get enough in return for DeRozan in a trade that the Raptors would not take a step back? With the Raptors being capped out they can’t chase name free agents, and in a tight financial market making these kinds of trades will be difficult. Possible, expect to see something, but difficult.

However, changing the coach to help change the feeling around the team is much easier. Which is why Casey may want to hold off on doing that addition off the back of his home for a little while.

Ben Simmons reps ‘Egg Boy’ on shoes (PHOTO)

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The internet has tried to raise several thousand dollars for Will Connolly, better known as “Egg Boy”, after he slapped an egg on the head of New Zealand senator Fraser Annig. As of publication, the Go Fund Me has more than $71,000, which will be donated to the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Connolly went viral as the perfect, realtime response to the racist views espoused by Annig, who spoke of anti-immigrant (and anti-Muslim) rhetoric directly following the Christchurch massacre despite himself being an immigrant to New Zealand.

Thanks to his courageous act, Connolly has become a kind of internet sensation. A native of Australia, Connolly got a little recognition by countryman Ben Simmons on Tuesday.

Via Twitter:

Gen Z is going to save us.

Report: Markelle Fultz is moving rehab from L.A. to Orlando

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Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford has already said that former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is not expected back on the court this season. Fultz was traded back in February from the Philadelphia 76ers to his new home in Central Florida.

Now it appears that Fultz will be doing his rehabilitation back in Orlando. According to a recent report from Josh Robbins, Fultz will shift his rehab from Los Angeles to Florida from here on out. To that end, Fultz said he wants to be closer to his new teammates.

Via The Athletic:

“I think it’s what’s best for me and the team,” Fultz said after he watched practice Tuesday. “(It’s beneficial) just being around these guys, so they see my face and I see their face. I’m going to learn as much as I can. As we make this push for the playoffs, I want to be here with my guys and just support them.”

Fultz is still trying to get his shoulder right, and not to mention his shooting stroke and comfortability on an NBA floor. If anything, his return back to the Magic organization should be seen as a good sign, especially as the season comes to a close. A lot of players already spend their offseason in Los Angeles, so the idea that Fultz would want to return shortly before the Magic season ends is encouraging.

We don’t have a timeline for his return just yet, but at this point Fultz is a reclamation project that Orlando is happy to have under their guidance. If they can turn him into an NBA player, they could have something special at a relatively low asset cost.

Report: Doc Rivers agrees to an extension with Clippers

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Doc Rivers will be staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to multiple reports, Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer have agreed to an extension that will keep Rivers with the Clippers organization “long term”.  Some earlier rumors had Rivers potentially being a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are presumed to have an opening this summer. But Rivers told reporters on Tuesday that he isn’t going to be heading across the hall, and that he’s happy where he is.

Via Twitter:

Rivers has led the Clippers to a surprising season, one that should result in a postseason bid despite a sort of ramshackle roster.

I think Rivers’ legacy was called into question following the departure of both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but his ability to create a winning atmosphere in L.A. in a post-star era for the Clippers is a testament to his ability.

Of course, Rivers might not have to go without a star for too long. Rumor has it Kawhi Leonard still favors the Clippers as a top destination this summer should he choose to leave the Toronto Raptors.

A fan paid nearly $7,000 to see LeBron and Giannis, then got neither

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March in the NBA can be a bit of a gamble for fans looking to score tickets as a means to watch their favorite players play. On good teams or bad, stars are subject to rest this late in the season.

Apparently one fan found that out the hard way after shelling out several thousands of dollars to see Giannis Antetokounmpo square off against LeBron James on Tuesday.

With the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers set to go head-to-head in Wisconsin, neither Antetokounmpo or LeBron will be on the floor. That’s going to upset one fan who, according to Darren Rovell, paid $6,970.50 for courtside seats.

I had a friend have this happen to him recently. Expecting a trip to New Orleans, he purchased tickets to watch the Pelicans play the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the year. His tickets were for several rows behind the Blazers bench, and although they weren’t too expensive, no doubt they would have left wallet a bit thicker if he would have known that Anthony Davis would not have been playing.

Stay home, watch the game on your 4K television, and have a private bathroom and fridge. I know I shouldn’t tell you not to go to NBA games, but at least this wouldn’t happen to you if you stayed home.