When Kyle Lowry was drafted 24th overall pick in the 2006 Draft, many felt as though it was a question of when the bullish pass-first point guard will become a proven League superstar, not if. As the years wore on, and other highly recruited guards entered the league, Lowry seemed to become a good back-up guard in the minds of most General Managers & fans alike; one begun to wonder if Kyle Lowry would actually fulfil his potential and lead a team with genuine Playoff credentials.
We have witnessed a lot of reinvention in Toronto over the last 18 or so months, as the Raptors have rebranded their franchise and quietly put together a competitive team with the potential to grow together and take the team on one of those deep Playoff runs they’ve yearned for. Just as the Raptors have reinvented their appeal and image, so has their star point guard Kyle Lowry; off the back of his best season as a regular starter in the league, Kyle followed up an All-Star year by returning as a leaner and fitter version of the pit-bull we all loved to hate. His dramatic change in physique had the net in a state of frenzy and his coach referred to him as “svelte”, a far cry from the stocky build star we had watched develop over the years.
Questions were raised over how the change in physique would affect Kyle’s aggressive all-action game on the court, the star was quick to refute any speculation regarding a decline in output and aggression and added that his body was now actually equipped to handle a full 82-game schedule and a deep playoff run to boot; such growth and maturity is beautiful to see in a player that has now shown his value as a genuine star in a galaxy of stars. It is worth noting how his personal improvements have coincided with a holistic improvement across the board at Toronto, the Raptors now have a leader on and off the court in Kyle Lowry and that leadership will be pivotal to any future success they will enjoy. Showing his knowledge of the game, Lowry credited Ray Allen and Chauncey Billups as prime examples of how a player had to become lighter with age if they seek to continue excelling at the highest level; having worked on his game with the legendary Billups, one feels as though Kyle has now become conscious of his own scope for growth and that drive to become better has been evident is his overall game and the performances of his team.
The time has come for Kyle Lowry to cement his place in the league and build a body of work befitting of his ability and potential; if the changes witnessed in the past 18 months are anything to go by, the impossible now seems possible if you are a Raptor. Kyle admittedly saw a decline in his own form after a blistering start to his All-Star season and some place that dip amongst the reasons for the disappointing series loss to the Wizards in the playoffs, one prays that the new and improved Lowry will add a greater degree of consistency and durability as he seeks to follow-up his brilliant figures and improves on the new benchmark he has set for himself and his team. One would be remiss not to note how Lowry added that his drop in weight was partly due to a desire to be special as a player, such words resonate with the sentiments of a man who has unfinished business on the court and enough gas in the tank to go the distance, and fulfil his great potential as a star in his own right.
DoB: March 25th, 1986 (29)
PoB: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
High School: Cardinal Dougherty (Philadelphia, PA)
College: Villanova (04-06)
Drafted: 1st Round, 24th Overall by Memphis Grizzlies (2006)
Current Team: Toronto Raptors #7
Career Teams: Memphis Grizzlies (06-09); Houston Rockets (09-12); Toronto Raptors (12-present)
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