MANILA, Philippines – In an ultimate sign of self-validation, current Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey won the 2018 Coach of the Year Award at the NBA Awards Show in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday, June 26, Manila time.
Team President Masai Ujiri and Raptors management pulled the trigger on Casey despite the 61-year old tactician leading the Raptors to a conference- and franchise-best 59-23 regular season record and subsequently winning the coach-exclusive National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA) Coach of the Year Award.
As expected, Casey didn’t stay unemployed for long, as the Pistons swooped him up and signed him to a 5-year contract to mentor the All-Star duo of Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin back to playoff contention in the East.
Of course, the Pistons couldn’t be prouder that they snagged a certified Coach of the Year to replace coaching great Stan Van Gundy.
Congrats Coach! https://t.co/e7hordsJ7Z — Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) June 26, 2018
Drummond, who is coming off a breakout All-Star season, also voiced out his happiness for his new coach.
Congrats coach Casey!!! Well deserved — Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) June 26, 2018
At least, the Raptors still recognized their former employee’s efforts, albeit at a more somber tone. At least, right?
Congratulations to Dwane. https://t.co/LoviJVFllD — Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 26, 2018
Regardless, Casey didn’t let that firing slide when he took the stage, admitting that he hesitated on returning to coaching before the Pistons reignited his confidence.
In his stead back up north, his former deputy Nick Nurse has since taken the reigns and the responsibility of retooling the Raptors with practically the same squad Casey had. With time running out on the Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan partnership, the pressure is on Nurse to patch up the gaps.
Amid their respective quests to Eastern playoff dominance, Casey and the Raptors are bound to cross paths again. Time will tell as to which side will have the last laugh. – Rappler.com