A day after being fired by the Toronto Raptors, Dwane Casey wrote a letter to the city of Toronto and Raptors fans thanking them for their support during his seven-year tenure.
Published in the Toronto Sun, the letter reads, in part:
“Thank you to basketball fans across this city and the country of Canada who supported the Raptors and welcomed my family with open arms during our seven years here. Thank you to all the fans who cheered us on at the Air Canada Centre while we built this program into a playoff contender, packed Jurassic Park even in the cold and rain, watched the games from home and offered their undying support as we traveled this road to relevancy together.
“Thank you for teaching our all-American family the Canadian way. That being polite and considerate to one another is always the best way. That diversity is something to be embraced and celebrated. That taking the time to learn about each other’s cultures is the surest way to find common ground and understanding. Thank you for making our children feel safe, valued, and comfortable in their own skin. We cannot express how important it has been to build the foundations of who our children are as human beings in a country that shows through its words, actions and laws that all people deserve basic human rights, and a chance to reach their goals through education and hard work.”
Casey went on to thank many members of the Raptors organization, from the front office to the coaching staff and players, to support and security staff.
He finished by writing:
“Coaches know that this is an industry built on change, and we willingly accept that reality. They say that ‘Home is not a place ... it’s a feeling;’ so thank you Toronto for making us feel at home here. Thank you for supporting our family, for offering us your friendship and for teaching us the Canadian way.
Dwane, Brenda, Justine & Zachary Casey”
Casey, who turned 61 last month, was dismissed by general manager Masai Ujiri on Friday. Ujiri called Casey “an unbelievable human being” and said the decision was “the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.”
On Wednesday, Casey was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year by his peers after guiding the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins in the regular season. Toronto was swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Casey leaves as the winningest coach in franchise history, with the team going 320-238 under his watch.
—Field Level Media