Despite winning 59 regular-season games and being named coach of the year by his peers, there have been reports indicating the Toronto Raptors could move on from Dwane Casey as head coach following the team's second consecutive playoff sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While it might seem like an unprecedented move, it recently happened in June 2013, when George Karl was dismissed as head coach of the Denver Nuggets following a franchise-record 57 wins and an NBA coach of the year award. As such, Karl can sympathize with Casey's situation.
"Start a campaign to save Dwane, he deserves his job man," Karl said on TSN 1050's "Overdrive" on Thursday. "Remember Toronto, he's not just a great coach but a very great person."
Karl's 2012-13 Nuggets team also fell well short of expectations, losing its first-round series in six games as the third seed to the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors. His tenure in Denver was very similar to Casey's current run with the Raptors, as both had just one conference finals appearance, with multiple premature exits from the postseason.
"Yeah there is a similarity that the management's view of success is not being met by the team and the coaching staff," Karl said. "Expectations and potential are two things that kill coaches, players that have and don't reach that potential, it's the coaches fault. Teams that have high expectations, and don't reach expectations, it's the coaches fault."
He added: "I think the other similarity is that Dwane has been there a long time, and there is a philosophy of a wearing-out process of the coaching staff and the coach himself. The one thing that I believe in that not many people in the NBA do, if you look at baseball, football a little bit, if you look at Popovich and Spoelstra and Riley in Miami, continuity builds a foundation that's very tough to shatter."
The Raptors are yet to make a firm decision on Casey's future, as general manager Masai Ujiri said at his end-of-season press conference that everything is still under evaluation.