There have been a lot of changes for the Toronto Raptors this offseason, from the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard to the team hiring Nick Nurse as head coach.

And through it all, star point guard Kyle Lowry reportedly went dark, per a report from Josh Lewenberg of TSN:

“Lowry, the team’s incumbent star, had declined to comment on the trade of his close friend and long-time teammate DeMar DeRozan at a USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas over the summer. That was overblown and not a direct concern to the team—as Lowry correctly pointed out on Monday, he’s never made a habit of speaking to the media during the off-season.

“Of greater concern, per league sources, Lowry had also been dodging calls and texts from team officials, including president Masai Ujiri and new head coach Nick Nurse, who Lowry said he only spoke with briefly right after Nurse was promoted in June.”

Lowry did speak publicly on Monday at the team’s media day, however, and talked about playing with Leonard this season.

“We’ll have a full season, we have a full week of training camp to get to know each other,” Lowry said. “He’s my teammate now so I’m excited to play with him, and I always ride or die for my teammates. Go out there and play basketball, win as many games as possible, and at the end of the year hold up that trophy.”

Toronto is betting big on Leonard, especially considering he’ll be a free agent after this season. How he interacts with Lowry and Nurse will impact not just the team’s title chances this year, but also potentially the organization’s future.

So having Lowry and Leonard on the same page is important. But having a veteran and star point guard like Lowry on the same page as Nurse and the team’s front office is equally important.

The Raptors, on paper, are one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference, joining the ranks of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. While they don’t appear to be on the level of the Golden State Warriors, anything is possible once you reach the NBA Finals.

And whether Lowry has kept the lines of communication open or not, his goal remains winning a title.

“One thing about me is I’ve always been prepared to come in and try to win a championship,” he said. “I’ve always been given an opportunity to go out there and do me, and come back ready to go, in shape, ready to play. My mindset never changes: Come to work for the Toronto Raptors, try to win a gold ball.”

Courtesy: Bleacher Report


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