Raptors president Masai Ujiri on firing Dwane Casey: 'Hardest thing I've done'


The Raptors parted ways with Dwane Casey on Friday, but Toronto president Masai Ujiri said firing Casey was the hardest thing he’s done in his life. 

Ujiri was emotional while explaining the decision go in a different direction from Casey, saying, “I can honestly say I don’t know that I’ll work with a better person.”

“What an unbelieveable human being,” Ujiri said of Casey (via USA Today). “It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. (General manager) Bobby Webster and I went to speak to him and I’ve never met anybody that classy in my life.”

Casey, the winningest coach in Raptors history, was fired just two days after winning NBA Coach of the Year honors in a vote by his peers. He led the team to a franchise-record 59-win regular season, and the Raptors entered the playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, Toronto’s season ended with a second-round sweep by the Cavaliers, the third straight year the Cavs eliminated Toronto from the playoffs.

“Nothing in particular that coach Casey did wrong, but I think it was time for this to happen,” Ujiri said.

Casey went 320-238 (.573) in seven seasons in Toronto, reaching the playoffs five consecutive times and winning at least 50 games three times.

According to ESPN.com, which cited unidentified league sources, former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer “is expected to get a close inspection” for the Raptors job and the team also will consider assistant Nick Nurse and G League coach Jerry Stackhouse. 



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