Sports

Pro basketball: Toronto Raptors fire coach of year Casey

Pro basketball: Toronto Raptors fire coach of year Casey

(He was the choice of his fellow coaches for their version of that award earlier this week.) To the extent that Casey must wear blame for his team's underwhelming playoff results - they are 21-30 in the post-season under him, including three losing sweeps in the last four years - that is a blame that should be shared by many others in the organization, including its two stars, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. He was the longest-tenured coach in team history and is the franchise's all-time winningest coach.

"After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very hard but necessary step the franchise must take", Masai Ujiri, Toronto's team president, said in a statement. "As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and imrpve in order to get to the next level", team president Masai Ujiri said in a statement.

"With our roster I think that's something we are always looking at", said Ujiri.

Before this year, Masai Ujiri had three obvious windows when he could have fired head coach Dwane Casey, and he would have had obvious cause to do so. Toronto posted a franchise-record 59 wins this season to earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but after beating Washington in the first round, Toronto sustained a humbling 4-0 sweep by LeBron James' Cavaliers in the conference semifinals.

In fact, Casey's playoff record is so bad, the Raptors had no choice but to fire him.

The Cavs, who were steamrolling through the competition by winning their first 12 games of the postseason, managed to beat the Raptors by an average of 15.25 points per game. A media panel voted separately for the NBA's coach of the year award, which will be announced June 25.

Attacks in Afghan capital kill 5, wound 16
The first bomber struck a police station in the western part of Kabul, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Najib ISIS. Afghan security personnel inspect at the site of a suicide attack, in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.

Ujiri said he spent "countless hours" evaluating the team in the days following this year's defeat before deciding to fire Casey.

"We're not saying that this roster is flawless, there are things we have to do, there are things I have to do to get better, taking responsibility ... it's not something that I can change today, sometimes it takes two months, sometimes it takes one year, sometimes it takes two years, that's just the nature of how the cap works out, how the National Basketball Association works", he said. "I can honestly say I don't know that I will work with a better person".

"Case is one of the best coaches I've ever had", Lowry told ESPN.

Ujiri denied reports that Casey had precipitated his firing by seeking a contract extension. I know where we started here. It was the third straight season in which they lost to the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

"A lot of folks have run up against Cleveland in the last few years and had the same challenge and it went down the same way", he said.


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