Dwane Casey: Passing Go With Class

It's always funny when someone gets fired, but if it's you, and you were just coach of the year, it would probably be infuriating. However, Dwane Casey exhibited remarkable class and restraint after being axed by Toronto, setting a great example.

Would this be your or my reaction if we got fired from a great job? Probably. But Dwane Casey proved that life can be lived with class, and that it's better that way. Credit: PA

By: Jeffrey Newholm

Imagine a stockbroker of the year awarded based on performance in Monopoly. What if a man was a real estate wizard, forcing his opponents to land on Boardwalk’s hotel and continually grabbing the $200 Go cash? But then he competed against Warren Buffett in the real world, was outfoxed, and promptly fired. He’d probably be pretty mad, right? That’s pretty much Dwane Casey’s predicament. He and the Raptors finished first in a meaningless regular season. He promptly won recognition as the press’s coach of the year. After Toronto eased past the lowly Wizards, however, the Cavs swept the Raptors. Did Casey get a chance to try again against the now four time defending champ? Nope, Toronto fired him. Although rehired by Detroit, few could blame Casey if he had some parting words for his former employer. Well, there were certainly some parting words. Surprisingly, however, they were all polite.

In a letter to the Toronto Star, Casey thanked a “first-rate organization from top to bottom”. He also stated that “Toronto is lucky to have one of the best ownership groups in the NBA”. Granted, these words have come to ring rather empty considering how frequently losing coaches write (or perhaps ghostwrite) letters to save face. But they sound sincere coming from Casey. With his calm demeanor, he transformed Toronto from one the east’s worst teams to a country’s fan favorite. And while accpeting the NBA award night’s coach of the year trophy, he proved that life is what one does with what happens, not just what happens:

In the film Office Space, a waitress hilariously gives her boss the bird after hearing too much about “flair”. However, society judges this act as not befitting to an adult professional by giving the movie an R rating. But Monday Casey proved that there’s another way. Handling defeat with class is more important than any big win. And as seen with the acrimonious dismissal of UConn coach, and NCAA champion, Kevin Ollie, it’s much more memorable as well. So while the 30 tokens on the NBA board go around again, some ill-tempered coaches are sure to go to jail or the income tax. But Casey will still be a player, quietly passing Go and lapping those who can never be satisfied with anything but an impossible finish.

Jeffrey Newholm
About Jeffrey Newholm 173 Articles
Hey there! I’m Jeff Newholm and depending on your point of view I’m blessed or cursed that my two favorite sports are outside the limelight. Being a UW-Whitewater grad (winter 2013) my first love was d3 college football, but over the last few years I have picked up a huge interest in woman’s basketball (Uconn being my favorite team as their 90 game winning streak helped show me how good a team can get in the woman’s game). I like all the sports everyone else likes (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA basketball and football) but those two sports are where I really have a passion.
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