Title: KYLE LOWRY’S TRANSFORMATION FROM ROLE-PLAYING MALCONTENT TO BONA FIDE SUPERSTAR
Date: January 22, 2016
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice Canada, I looked at Kyle Lowry’s ascension from rebuilding trade chip to marquee All-Star attraction.
Kyle Lowry was passed over, given up on and traded. And, not long ago, very nearly unloaded to help foster a rebuild. Now, at 29 years old and in his 10th NBA season, he will start for the Eastern Conference in a second consecutive All-Star Game. This one will be in front of his home crowd, where he’ll become only the third player in the Toronto Raptors’ 21-year history to make multiple All-Star appearances.
The circuitous path Lowry took to stardom is well documented. After he slid to the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 24 in the 2006 draft and wore out his welcome with the Houston Rockets, then Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo flipped a first-round pick for him, the latest in a long line of Jose Calderon usurpation plans. When Masai Ujiri took over and quickly jettisoned Andrea Bargnani and Rudy Gay, Lowry was rumoured to be next. The New York Knicks balked on surrendering further future assets, and Lowry remained.
Perhaps recognizing he still hadn’t ingratiated himself to an organization or found a home, Lowry spent the next several seasons seeping into every pore of the Raptors franchise. He took the jump from quality player to borderline All-Star during the 2013-14 season, his absence in the showcase a minor snub, and lifted the Raptors to their first playoff appearance since 2008. That earned him a four-year contract that showed not only that a marquee player would stay in Toronto, a common fear of the fan base, but that the franchise saw in him their near-term future.
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