There could be an awkward situation at the NBA awards show towards the end of June.
Not long after he was voted coach of the year by his peers in the league, Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has reportedly been fired.
Toronto has fired coach Dwane Casey, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2018
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Twitter Friday morning. The decision comes not four days after Toronto was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was the second straight year Casey’s squad was swept in Round 2, and the third consecutive year that came to an end at the hands of LeBron James and the Cavs.
The awkward part of this, is that according to Marc Stein at the New York Times, Casey was voted coach of the year by the National Basketball Coaches Association. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens meanwhile did not receive a single vote.
Casey won 59 games in 2017-18, earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. He leaves with a 320-238 record in Toronto and won the Atlantic Division four of the last five seasons.
The NBA’s coach of the year is a different award, voted on primarily by media members. That accolade will be announced at the league’s awards show on June 25.
There is some precedent for a coach being fired after winning coach of the year. George Karl was let go by the Denver Nuggets after winning the award in 2012-13. Somewhat ironically, the executive in charge of the Nuggets that season was Masai Ujiri, the current general manager of the Raptors.