Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey will be quick to remind people about the role he played in developing the Toronto Raptors’ young core, and received a brief tribute for his efforts during Tuesday’s game between the two clubs.
Casey was fired at the end of the 2017-18 season, allowing his then-assistant Nick Nurse to take over for the Raptors, and the rest is history. Toronto traded for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green shortly thereafter in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Nurse employed some outside-the-box tactics throughout the playoffs, and the Larry O’Brien Trophy now resides in Canada.
Although he wasn’t part of the championship team, Casey received a quick video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter.
shoutout dwane casey pic.twitter.com/3Ub2HqGxjX— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) October 31, 2019
The timing might read as odd to some. Although the Raptors are celebrating a number of key figures in team history as they celebrate their 25th anniversary season, this isn’t Casey’s return to Toronto, featuring as Detroit’s head coach in 2018-19.
It’s not that Casey was a bad coach — he led the Raptors to five consecutive playoff appearances — but the franchise has entered a new, post-title era, whereas the 62-year-old is a relic of the less-glorious past.
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