Dwane Casey Pens Thank You Letter to Raptors Fans After Being Fired

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2018

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 11:  Dwane Casey coach of the Toronto Raptors reacts against the Miami Heat during the second half at American Airlines Arena on April 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors fired Dwane Casey on Friday following a disappointing end to a record-setting season, but he has no hard feelings.

The 61-year-old coach bid farewell to the city he called home for seven years with a heartfelt letter, via the Toronto Star:

"Dear Toronto,

"Thank you.

"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."

Casey (320-238) exits as the Raptors' all-time winningest coach, piling up more than twice as many victories as the next best coach.

Toronto made the playoffs in each of Casey's final five seasons as coach, winning at least 48 games in each year during that stretch while setting a franchise-record with 59 victories this past season. As good as the team performed during the regular season, playoff failures cost him his job. Casey led his team past the second round just once, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016.

The Casey-led Raptors ultimately couldn't get over the hump. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated Toronto in each of the past three postseasons, sweeping the past 10 games.

Even though some believe the DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Co. underachieved, Casey is appreciative of his team:

"Thank you to the many players and coaches that have proudly represented the Toronto Raptors during my tenure. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence. Thank you for enduring my southern sayings, awkwardly placed hats and most importantly for always having your shoes tied and shirttails tucked in before the shootaround film starts."

He would also thank the front office and the rest of the Toronto staff for the support.

It would be understandable for a coach to be bitter after being let go despite a .573 winning percentage and leading a franchise to new levels of success. However, Casey is going out with class.