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Dwane Casey claims Raptors always had him on a short leash

Dwane Casey

Dwane Casey led the Toronto Raptors to their best regular season record in team history, but it wasn’t enough to keep his job. The Raptors moved on from Casey despite the fact that he was a frontrunner for Coach of the Year — an award he eventually won.

But despite all his success, Casey always felt like his job was in question during his tenure with Toronto.

“(In Toronto) I was always on a two-year deal, or another year to go, so we never bought,” Casey said to Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star. “I was always on that short leash.”

The Raptors obviously felt like they had plateaued with Casey as the head coach. They reached the playoffs five straight seasons, but they only had one trip to the Conference Finals. That series ended in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James. That was the first of three straight years where the Cavs knocked the Raptors out of the playoffs.

But Casey’s demise in Toronto is another example of the harsh reality of the NBA. It’s a results-oriented business and the regular season is far less important than the playoffs when all is said and done.

There doesn’t seem to be any hard feelings between Casey following his departure from Toronto. Casey has been around the league long enough to know that the NBA is a business and no one’s job is ever safe.