The Toronto Raptors have enjoyed a strong start to the new NBA season, but they're about to be visited by a ghost of seasons past. The glory of the team winning their first championship has had many people wondering how ex-coach Dwane Casey has been feeling. Well, Casey's coming back to the 6ix.
The current Detroit Pistons coach led the Raps for seven years and won NBA Coach of the Year for the team's success in his final season. Of course, that Eastern Conference-winning year was soon swept under the rug by last season's championship under Casey's longtime assistant, Nick Nurse.
Casey is back in Toronto with the Pistons on Wednesday, the first time since the Raptors' title win that he'll face his old team and his former right-hand man.
Just like departed star DeMar DeRozan, Casey was, of course, asked in a recent interview about his opinion on the Raptors' success.
"I'm so proud of the team from last year, how they came out, won the championship," Casey told TSN. "Seeing the banner up there is beautiful, for the team, for the organization, for the country."
Amid his praise for the team, Casey stressed it "irks" him to read others claim he's "salty" after the Raptors took home the title a year after dismissing him from his post.
Is Dwane Casey salty or just misunderstood? 🤔 https://t.co/AgWcLcIFWj— theScore (@theScore)1572464730.0
Casey insisted there's no bad blood between him and the Raps, and that he still maintains communication with others from the organization and players as well.
"I'm not salty. There's no pepper, no hot sauce," he added, extending the seasoning metaphor to new lengths.
Dwane Casey speaking with us in Toronto this morning before his Pistons face the Raptors tonight: “there’s no animo… https://t.co/WTm8QdZb4D— Rachel Brady (@Rachel Brady)1572455468.0
Raptors fans, though, aren't quite so sure.
Many of them took onto Twitter to share their thoughts on how Casey may really have been feeling over the last few months.
"He'll never admit it publicly but, there's a ton of regret. If only he had Kawhi, if only he had doubled LeBron in that playoff series. A lot of things he probably would've done differently if given the chance," suggested one fan. "As a Raptors fan, I'll always have deep respect for what he did here," he adds.
@michaelgrange Except all of his actions and comments indicate otherwise. Dwane is salty AF, as we all would be.… https://t.co/qFO42GRjig— Peter (@Peter)1572452950.0
@theScore Like mad table salt salty https://t.co/G2cMNjeyGT— PoisonClanTechniques #FSDBetaCanada (@PoisonClanTechniques #FSDBetaCanada)1572464836.0
@Eric__Smith Dwane Casey pulling up at Scotia Bank Arena .. https://t.co/8gnhPiimZ7— Jimmy North-Side OG (@Jimmy North-Side OG)1572467080.0
Other Raptors fans, though, were less critical of the team's former longtime coach. After all, Casey did lay the foundations over several years for what formed the base of the franchise's winning roster.
"Dwane Casey is a class act!" tweeted one fan, and others were there to back up the Pistons boss.
It's incredibly disrespectful to Dwane Casey to insinuate that he's salty about the Raptors' title. He played a cru… https://t.co/UphUAgY1dO— Will (@Will)1572461328.0
I got a lot of love for Dwane Casey, the guy built a foundation for the Raptors and although he didn't get to see i… https://t.co/IB9cpkKp9i— 博💭 (@博💭)1572458131.0
Back in June, Casey talked about how "thrilling" it was to see the roster he built reap such rewards.
"To see a guy like Kyle Lowry, a kid like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and those guys I coached win. It was really thrilling, because I know that was a goal going in with that group, and to see them win it was great," said Casey, per TSN.
Casey will see the NBA banner dangling from the roof of Scotiabank Arena for the first time — in person, at least —when the Pistons come to town tonight.
With opinion on Casey seemingly split among Raptor fans, the reception he receives will certainly be interesting.