Kyle Lowry Grantland Feature: You Can Count on Me
ASM Sports’ Kyle Lowry was the subject of Jonathan Abrams’ latest feature on Grantland. Discussing openly the bumpy journey to NBA stardom, Kyle talks about his team’s playoff run, his upbringing in North Philadelphia, the road to Toronto, and his hopes for the Raptors in 2015.
After the game, Lowry sat in the locker room, sullen and solemn as minutes ticked by. He called for his 2-year-old son Karter. “The loss stung and the shot, the play stung,” Lowry said. “But I didn’t ask for nothing but my son. I know he doesn’t care about what happens. He don’t care about nothing but his daddy.” Lowry scooped up his son and finally made his way to the postgame media conference. He crossed paths again with Pierce. “You’re an animal, dog,” Pierce said. “You’re an animal.”
Months later, Lowry was in Las Vegas as summer wound down and a new season approached. The Simpsons marathon played on FXX in his home. He felt a comfort that had eluded him over the first eight years of his NBA career: The Raptors had recently signed him to a four-year, $48 million contract. It was first time a franchise had ever truly committed to making Lowry one of the team’s stars, and it meant he could finally look forward to a season with no trade rumors and no splitting starter’s minutes with another point guard. He talked about this status, this responsibility that he’s fought his whole career to attain: to be the guy on his team — the unquestioned leader, the one who walks the tightrope between praise and pressure, success and failure.
“You always ask for a team to be your team, right?” he said. “Every single night, that team and your teammates are like, All right, you know you need to bring it for everybody else. And if you don’t bring it, they ain’t bringing it. So when you’re the leader, you’ve got to [be] mentally focused every night. Luckily, my backcourt mate [DeRozan], we get along. I say we’re co-leaders and we understand [that] sometimes, things aren’t going to go the right way … Every single night, we’re playing for each other.”
Kyle also mentioned he was able to get on the right track professionally with help from Chauncey Billups & President & Founder of ASM Sports, Andy Miller.
Andy Miller, Lowry’s agent, also showed faith in Lowry’s ability. Miller put him in touch with one of his other clients, Chauncey Billups, who had had a rough beginning in the NBA before finding stardom and stability in Detroit.
“Chauncey pushed me,” Lowry said. “He pushed me mentally to challenge myself. He just has this aura about him like you don’t want to upset him. You want to make sure he’s like, ‘Good job.’ There are some people in this world that you just be like, ‘Man, just give me some praise.’ And the little bit of praise, the sky’s the limit for that. There’s not many people I say I look up to. I don’t look up to people like that. [But] I look up to him.”