"Congratulations to Dwane on this prestigious recognition".
After defeating the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs, Casey's Raptors have once again run into the buzzsaw that is LeBron James. He also mentioned that he has already met with team president Masai Ujiri to discuss strategies to improve the team next season. The award, named for longtime NBCA executive director Michael H. Goldberg, is voted on only by the league's head coaches. It's not hard to make a fairly convincing case that everyone who received a vote in the NBCA balloting deserved it, but the fact that Stevens couldn't garner a single nod is surprising, if not insulting. Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni and Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shared the inaugural honor.
But despite four division titles and playoff appearances in all five seasons, the team hasn't been able to turn that into playoff success.
If he is fired and wins the league-wide media version of Coach of the Year, Casey would be a rare coach to pull off that starkly opposite feat in their sport. Toronto doesn't have enough talent and that's not on the coach. Though, it has led to playoff disappointment at every turn.
Cleveland awaits its opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Was anyone else under consideration?
Considering the Celtics' success this season after losing Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season and Kyrie Irving down the stretch, the 2017-2018 team has been considered one of Stevens' best coaching performances. With the media, Ujiri usually tries to project calm coolness, a man with a firm plan, unbent by the strong gusts of the National Basketball Association season.