Former Kentucky guard and current Detroit Pistons head coach, Dwane Casey, has been named the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2017-18 season.
This past season, Casey coached the Toronto Raptors leading them to a franchise-record 59 wins, the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and a Conference Semifinals appearance. Shortly thereafter, however, Casey was fired.
Maybe the team needed a fresh start. Maybe they thought they were perennially stuck behind the Cavaliers with Casey at the helm.
Whatever the reason, the firing shocked the NBA world and Casey didn’t hesitate taking a subtle jab at his former employer.
“When you get fired, which I did recently...I don’t know if you knew that or not, after winning Coach of the Year, you always doubt yourself a little bit.”
Obviously, Casey was being somewhat playful with his comments, but don’t think for a minute there wasn’t at least a little vindictiveness to his words and rightfully so.
Welp. pic.twitter.com/otDpFFUaQF— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 26, 2018
He didn’t deserve to be fired, but here’s to hoping he sees similar success in Detroit. Congratulations, Coach Casey!
And then there’s Anthony Davis. Rudy Gobert, somehow, won NBA Defensive Player of the Year over Davis and Joel Embiid.
The former Kentucky star and National Champion played in more games and averaged more minutes, points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals than Gobert this past season. So, clearly it only makes sense that Gobert won the award over Davis...insert eye roll here.
Davis basically carried the New Orleans Pelicans to the playoffs when another former Kentucky star, Demarcus Cousins, went down with a torn Achilles in late January.
Davis played in 75 games and averaged 2.6 blocks per game and 1.5 steals per game compared to Gobert’s 56 games, 2.3 blocks per game, and 0.8 steals per game. Gobert’s a great player and defender, but I think Davis got snubbed here.
Davis was also in the top 3 of MVP voting and while he didn’t win that award either, it’s still an honor to be a finalist for both awards. Congratulations on another great season and a fun playoff run, and good luck to Casey on his new ventures.