A day after his surprising firing by the Raptors, Dwane Casey was thanking Toronto and its fans.
In a letter sent to the Toronto Star, Casey wrote:
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, the most successful coach in franchise history, lost his job Friday after consecutive second-round playoff sweeps to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Wednesday, Casey was named winner of the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, which is voted on annually by the league's 30 head coaches.
The Raptors set a franchise record with 59 regular-season victories and earned the East's No. 1 seed before advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 4-2 series victory over the Washington Wizards.