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.
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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