The Toronto Raptors season came to another disappointing end at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason. As a result, Toronto has quickly decided to part ways with head coach Dwayne Casey.

Just after their season came to an end, All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry immediately defended coach Casey in his end-of-season interview with the media.

“We’ve had our trials and tribulations … he’s helped me become who I am. I always believe in him. I believe he’s one of the best coaches I’ve had.”

When new of Casey’s firing came out, Lowry once again defended Casey, calling him huge for his career. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he credits his former coach with his progression since coming to Toronto:

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“Case is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. We didn’t always see eye to eye, but he let me be me…He was huge for my growth as a man and an NBA player.”

Lowry’s NBA career got off to a rocky start following stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets. However, he was finally able to find his footing with the Raptors under Casey’s tutelage.

Lowry improved every year up until he was finally recognized as one of the premier point guards in the East. During that time, he has earned four trips to the All-Star game and an All-NBA selection. Needless to say, a lot of that could be attributed to Casey’s reliance on his star backcourt pairing of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Their strategy has been extremely successful in the regular season with this year being a prime example. Casey had even been named Coach of the Year by the NBCA.

However, it is clear that that the team is looking to switch things up after being bounced out by the Cavaliers for the third straight year. Although Casey has received the brunt of the blame thus far, the Raptors could continue to make some key changes to their roster in the near future as well.