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The Globe and Mail

Raptors head coach takes unexpected TTC ride prior to Game 7

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey reacts while playing against the New York Knicks during second half NBA pre-season basketball action in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.


Did you see a guy that looked like Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey on the subway in Toronto Sunday morning prior to Game 7?

You weren't seeing things.

Driving from his midtown home, the Raptors coach got stuck in traffic gridlock caused by thousands of fans flocking downtown for Game 7 of the team's first-round playoff series against Brooklyn as well as closures due to the GoodLife Toronto Marathon.

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Worried he would be late on arguably the biggest day of his career, Casey turned his car around, went home and opted to the take the subway.

"I'm sitting there in traffic – 30-40 minutes and it wasn't moving," said a light-hearted Casey, at his pre-game news conference. "So I did a U-turn in the middle of the road, went back home and took the subway.

"I don't think anyone expected us to be here and have a marathon and Game 7 in the same day."

TTC-riding Raptors fans took photos of the coach and posted them on social networks.

The Raptors haven't won a playoff series since 2001. On Sunday, they hope to eliminate the Nets and earn a second-round meeting with the Miami Heat.

Subway riders showed the coach plenty of support.

"Believe me, you don't want to be on the subway for Game 7," said Casey with a laugh to the great amusement of a room full of reporters. "You saw the pictures. I didn't think anyone would recognize who I was, but, ah [looking at his Raptors shirt]. They just said 'go get 'em.'"

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Casey said he hadn't used the subway since last summer.

"But it's great, I recommend it to everybody," quipped Casey. "Just not on Game 7."

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