I have to say something about the firing this week of Toronto Raptors coach, Dwane Casey.
Though named a finalist for 2018 Coach of the Year, after the best-ever season by a Raptors team, and winning the first round in the playoffs before losing to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Casey was dismissed. Yet another talented Toronto coach was sent packing because he didn’t provide Toronto with full and immediate gratification.
I don’t know if I can claim Dwane Casey as a member of the shy/loner race, but when I watched him in post-game interviews calmly and deftly handling questions without wasting words, never raising his voice or getting upset, as steady as could be, I couldn’t help believing that he is an example of a confident shy man who has learned to make his way in the world.
Maybe some shy people are born with a gift for doing this, I don’t know. I had to learn it myself.
But even so, Casey is also then proof that no matter how accomplished you get, the cards are still often stacked against you in this unremittingly social world .
A lot of people think you need to be an extrovert to be a coach, manager, supervisor, CEO, etc. It’s not true at all, but that prejudice makes life difficult for those on the introvert side of the spectrum.
Of course, being coach of a professional sports team, especially in Toronto, is one of the most precarious jobs you can have, no matter who you are.
For example, Casey’s predecessor, Sam Mitchell, got fired after being chosen coach of the year. Mitchell is not a shy man, but he fared no better.
And there was the even more taciturn Cito Gaston, who won back to back World Series with the Blue Jays, but had to be fired as soon as it looked like he wasn’t about to win another one. The Jays, of course, would never come close again.
For some though, it’s a step forward in their career. Paul Maurice, another fairly quiet coach and accomplished loner, was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs, then spent some years in Russia/Europe’s KHL before resurfacing in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, who still have a chance of getting to the Stanley Cup this year.
I don’t know where Dwane Casey will resurface, but there must be many NBA teams that would welcome him. I wish him luck and hope to see him with one of them next year.