Van Gundy previously coached the Magic during a tenure that saw Orlando reach the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
And it will be justified. DeRozan credited Casey with all of his success and Lowry said he was "one of the best coaches out there". The Raptors need to narrow their focus to the more granular aspects of winning - opponent-specific tactics, on-the-fly in-game adjustments, end-of-quarter execution, and so on - now that their foundation is firmly established, and their next head coach will be charged with taking that on. I mean, he got Coach of the Year and then you get fired the next day. He, along with many others, expect Casey to become an immediate contender for available coaching jobs in the league.
Although the man who has been in charge of the Raptors for five years would say that the timing of the decision was reached organically, and after careful consideration, and not out of any desire to have it slip by unnoticed, there are evident reasons for why Ujiri might want to have this particular move pass by without a whole lot of examination.
When asked if he believed the Raptors could have won the series, Ujiri said he honestly didn't know, but he was left wondering if the team could have competed better or differently. Was Casey unable to force the ball out of James' hand in the waning seconds of Game 3?
Throughout Casey's time in Toronto, Casey loved saying that Toronto needed to be a "hit-first team" and play with "a two-by-four on our shoulder". "We didn't always see eye to eye, but he let me be me". "He split the trap and went 100 miles an hour down the floor and lost them". He thanked us. He appreciated his time here.
"They made a decision, and for me, as leader in the organization, it's my job to support the decision that Masai and GM Bobby [Webster] made".
In fact, Casey's playoff record is so bad, the Raptors had no choice but to fire him.
Smith has expressed some interest in moving from the television set to the sidelines, and a team like the Raptors might be good for a guy who is new at this. If he wanted back in right away, Casey, 61, could be in the mix for openings in Milwaukee, Detroit or Orlando.
The next season, the Raptors made a franchising altering move trading Gary Forbes along with a 2013 first-round pick to the Houston Rockets. It was the first time he'd had to fire a coach in more than a decade as an National Basketball Association executive. Assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian, and G League coach Jerry Stackhouse were listed as possible candidates to take over. As Head Coach of the Raptors, Casey's playoff record was 21-30.
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