Since DeRozan Trade, Ujiri and Lowry No Longer See Eye to Eye
“Ah, he’s the president of basketball operation”.
Kyle Lowry’s interview with The Jump’s Rachel Nichols left behind a sour taste in the mouthes of Toronto Raptors fans. Since DeMar DeRozan was abruptly traded from the team, Lowry and Masai Ujiri have failed to see eye to eye. The family culture that the Raptors consistently preached has all but withered away and it has been replaced by a need to break through and get over the playoff hump.
“I mean, I come here and I do my job,” Lowry continued. “He does his job, I do my job. Right? That’s what you do.”
It is well known how close Lowry was to DeRozan who was moved to the San Antonio Spurs in a summer blockbuster which saw saw the Raptors acquire Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
“I understand what happened with DeMar,” Ujiri said. “There are two things in this business that are tough. … When a player leaves — and Kawhi [Leonard] left. And then, when a player gets traded. Those two things are tough. And in our position, we have to do them, and we have to deal with them.
“And in a trade, it’s tough to communicate with players in that manner. We have to communicate with agents and can’t go and say, ‘Oh, you’re going to get traded.'”
Upon hearing Lowry’s comments, Ujiri defended his offseason move.
“We thought, ‘We have to change. We have to be better,'” Ujiri said, “We have to be better; we have to win. The game is all about winning and treating people the right way. And honestly … god bless DeMar. What I did wrong was trade him. Yes, that’s what I did wrong if it’s wrong. You know, like, we traded players, but nothing else I did; there’s nothing else.”
Despite the departure of the team’s franchise leader in points, the Raptors have been unquestionably the best team in the entire League to this point, off to the best start in team history at 21-5.
“It’s been like that with Kyle since I came here,” Ujiri said of his relationship with Lowry. “We’ve never — we don’t have a confrontation. We don’t — I’ve never done anything wrong to him. It’s just this kind of decision-making that we have to go through. And I know how Kyle is, so honestly, I love him to death.
“He plays basketball the right way. He gives it his all, you know. And I’m so used to it. And you know he has a good heart. And I know that I haven’t done anything wrong to him. I didn’t trade him.”
No matter what Lowry’s true feelings are toward’s Ujiri, the All-Star point guard has not let it negatively impact his performance on the court. Lowry is averaging 14.6 points, while dishing out a league-leading 10.1 assists per night.