Firing Dwane Casey as the Toronto Raptors’ coach was not easy. GM Masai Ujiri felt it was necessary, that after being swept out of the playoffs again by LeBron James and the Cavaliers something had to change, but it wasn’t easy. Ujiri, at his press conference, was as emotional as you will ever see a GM after a firing — he and everyone around the Raptors genuinely liked Casey. It was hard to make the move.
Casey loved Toronto right back for reasons beyond basketball. His farewell letter, in the Toronto Sun, was awesome.
Thank you to basketball fans across this city and the country of Canada who supported the Raptors and welcomed my family with open arms during our seven years here. Thank you to all the fans who cheered us on at the Air Canada Centre while we built this program into a playoff contender, packed Jurassic Park even in the cold and rain, watched the games from home and offered their undying support as we traveled this road to relevancy together.
Thank you for teaching our all-American family the Canadian way. That being polite and considerate to one another is always the best way. That diversity is something to be embraced and celebrated. That taking the time to learn about each other’s cultures is the surest way to find common ground and understanding. Thank you for making our children feel safe, valued, and comfortable in their own skin. We cannot express how important it has been to build the foundations of who our children are as human beings in a country that shows through its words, actions and laws that all people deserve basic human rights, and a chance to reach their goals through education and hard work.
Casey will land on his feet somewhere in the next couple of years, and that team will get a Coach of the Year calibre coach, and a great person.