A good chunk of the memories that Kyle Lowry was able to create during his time with the Toronto Raptors came under the watchful eye of head coach Dwane Casey, who led the franchise to a period of consistency that they simply were not used to during their first few years of existence.
While the duo did split right before Nick Nuse led Lowry and the Raptors to a title, both parties have done well for themselves since. While Lowry has added to his Hall of Fame resume, Casey has landed on his feet by earning a job as a head coach with Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons.
Casey has a very difficult task ahead of him when it comes to turning Cunningham from a promising young player into a franchise cornerstone, but he won’t have to look far in terms of finding a developmental cycle that he could emulate.
Casey knows that Lowry, who left Toronto after nearly a decade up north, changed the course of Raptors history, and he could start to bequeath the experience and knowledge he learned along the way to Cunningham.
In an interview with SiriusXM, Casey claimed that the Raptors’ “whole identity changed when [Lowry] came on the scene.” Casey made no secret of the fact he and Lowry butted heads, but he believes that the resulting success was worth it.
Former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey hyped up Kyle Lowry.
Casey specifically mentions how Lowry’s hard work led to him losing a ton of weight, beating out Jose Calderon for the starting PG job, and making the Raptors into the dominant force they were in the last decade. His old coach also highlighted the fact that Lowry is a “winner” and has “it” as a leader.
For Lowry’s part, he was very appreciative of what Casey was able to do for him during his career. Not only did Casey help turn Lowry into a better point guard, but No. 7 insists that he loved being coached by Dwane in the past because he helped make him a better person.
The Casey era may not have ended with any championships, but it helped make Lowry a household name while proving that Canada could be a place for a sustainable contender after decades of playoff futility. Lowry was named an All-Star four times with Casey as his coach.
With Raptors ownership already confirming that Lowry’s No. 7 will hang in the rafters one day, Casey’s wish to see his old point guard’s number retired for all of the work that he did in Toronto has been granted. The Casey regime was the launching pad for the greatest Raptors career we have seen to this point.