Kyle Lowry is a flat out professional. Despite being mired in distractions for the entire 2013-14 NBA season, Lowry is having a career year for the Toronto Raptors.
Seemingly from the onset of the season, Lowry has had to deal with swirling trade talks. First, there were rumors that he was headed to the New York Knicks, then there were the Brooklyn Nets rumors and finally the Golden State Warriors came into the picture. Through the entire ordeal Lowry has remained professional, consistently playing with the heart, passion and grit that has made him into a starting point for the majority of his career.
Then, only a few months into the season, Lowry had to deal with the difficult trading of close friend and teammate Rudy Gay. Lowry openly expressed his excitement and joy in being able to play with one of his closest friends when the deal first went down. Although not openly discussed by Lowry, surely the Gay trade must have been a considerable disappointment for the former University of Villanova product. Gay is not only one of Lowry’s closest friends, Gay is also the godfather to Lowry’s son. So rest assured that the two had an indelible bond together while in T.O.
But, yet again, Lowry didn’t allow this to become a distraction to him or his play. In fact, since the Gay trade, Lowry has played better, not worse, a testament to his unrelenting commitment to his profession. On the Raptors’ most recent 2-1 west coast trip, Lowry averaged 21.6 PPG, eight APG and 5.3 RPG, while shooting a blistering 44.44 percent from three-point land against some top Western Conference foes. He also had 20+ points in all three games, the first time doing so thus far this season. As the season has progressed, Lowry has gotten better with his latest string of games personifying this even further.
26 games into the season and it’s safe to say that Lowry is having a career year. Averaging 15.2 PPG (career-high), 7.0 APG( career-high), 3.9 RPG, 1.8 SPG (career-high) and 41.5 FG percentage and 36.4 three-point percentage, Lowry has been solid for the Raps. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is also Lowry’s contract year, which makes the trade talks, as well as an actual trade, almost certain to follow prior to the Feb. 20 deadline.
By now, GM Masai Ujiri‘s intentions are well known within NBA circles. He wants to tank. For Lowry then, his time in Toronto seems about up. Yet, Raptor fans must admire the manner in which he has conducted himself through this entire process. For a franchise that has seen the likes of Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and Damon Stoudamire give half hearted efforts on the tail end of their respective contracts while in Toronto, Lowry gives Raptor Nation a breath of fresh air. Lowry has played with enthusiasm and passion throughout the season, as if he believed he were a part of the Raptors’ future plans. The admirable thing is, Lowry must have known early on that he wasn’t.