Raptors coach Dwane Casey ready to 'represent our city' at the NBA all-star game
Casey will coach against 2 of his players during 2018 NBA all-star game in L.A.
Dwane Casey, the Toronto Raptors' longest-serving and winningest head coach, is having a notably good season.
He recently celebrated his 300th win with the franchise and is seen by many as as a top contender for the NBA's coach of the year. And this weekend, Casey will lead 'Team LeBron' at the NBA all-star game in Los Angeles.
"It puts us in a spotlight where we can go and talk about 'the 6ix,' what we are building here in Toronto, what we have here in Toronto — and they can't take away that spotlight because we're there," Casey said of the upcoming All-Star game in an interview with CBC Toronto's Dwight Drummond.
Casey will become the first-ever Raptors' head coach selected for an NBA all-star team, and ironically, he will coach against Toronto's two all-star selections, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Both were drafted to the opposing side, led by Stephen Curry.
This is the first year the league has changed its all-star game format, dropping the traditional eastern versus western conference match in favour of mixing players from both conferences onto both teams.
The decorated Raptors coach was once a leading athlete himself. Casey grew up in Kentucky during formative years of the civil rights movement, and he was the fifth African-American to play basketball for the University of Kentucky.
As captain of the Wildcats, he lead the team to a national championship in 1978.
Casey says he appreciates the diversity of Toronto, calling it "a great city to raise a family."
"I've enjoyed every minute here, my wife has, my kids love it here."
The NBA all-star game takes place tonight, with tip-off at 8 p.m. ET.