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Former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey says it was ‘exciting’ to see team win Finals

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, center right, holds Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, center right, holds Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, center right, holds Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

A little over a year ago, the Toronto Raptors fired head coach Dwane Casey just days after being named 2017-18 Coach of the Year by his peers.

Now, after the Raptors won this year’s NBA Finals, Casey harbors no ill-will against his former team, saying it was “exciting” to see them win it all.

Speaking on Friday at the Detroit Pistons’ practice facility, Casey told the Associated Press, “It was exciting. It was good to see.”

Many of Casey’s former players helped make up the championship-winning roster, something Casey was proud to see them accomplish.

“To see a guy like Kyle Lowry, kid like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and those guys — Serge Ibaka, guys I coached — win,” Casey said. “It was really thrilling, because I know that was a goal going in with that group, and to see them win it was great.”

Casey spent seven total seasons with the Raptors, finishing with above a .500 record in five of his seasons and playoff appearances in each of his last five seasons as well, including a conference finals appearance in 2016.

In his final season, the team won a franchise-record 59 games.

Casey didn’t stay unemployed for long as the Pistons hired him just one month after the Raptors let him go.

The team reportedly put on a full-court press to nab Casey and signed him to a five-year deal with an annual value just north of $7 million.

In his first season, the Pistons finished with a 41-41 record with three wins over the Raptors, good enough for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and a playoff spot.

The team was promptly swept by the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks in four games.

Casey also recognized the importance of the victory for the city of Toronto and its fans.

“For that city to win a championship, it had to be thrilling for them,” Casey said.

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