Dwane Casey was named NBA Coach of the Year on Monday at the 2018 NBA Awards beating out Brad Stevens and Quin Snyder. Casey, recently named the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, wins the award for a season that saw him win a franchise-record 59 games, earn a No. 1 seed in the playoffs — and get fired by the Toronto Raptors.
After praising his wife and family, thanking his former players — DeMarr DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas by name — and acknowledging the head coaches who helped him along the way, Casey addressed the elephant in the room.
“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. You think, ‘Okay, can I do this? Do I want to do this again?’, “Casey said.
In fact, Casey could have sat out the season and still collected millions from the Raptors. Instead, however, he agreed to a lucrative five-year deal to coach the Pistons after meeting with owner Tom Gores.
“(Gores) and I connected. He’s given me the opportunity that I am very appreciative of, for someone to believe in you. And that is all you want as a player and also as a coach — an owner who believes in you and trusts you with his franchise — and I appreciate that. I’m looking forward to working with Arne and Ed Stefanski, and, again, thank you so much.”
Casey hasn’t even coached a game for the Pistons yet and he’s already bringing home the hardware.
Update: Here’s the full video of Casey’s acceptance speech: