While it’s not official yet, reports have Kyle Lowry being named to the 2018 All-Star team as a reserve by the league’s coaches. It will be the fourth straight time he’s appeared in the NBA’s star-studded showcase. Maybe we should have saved this news for the Fun and Good highlight of the week.
Michael Grange of Sportsnet is the first to report the news:
Sources: Raptors Kyle Lowry will be announced as an all-star reserve ....— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) January 23, 2018
As Grange goes onto point out, Lowry will join DeMar DeRozan (a deserved starter) and likely Dwane Casey, who would be the East’s head coach for the first time in his career. (Note: Brad Stevens coached the team last year, so it goes to whoever is next in the standings.)
This year was not exactly a slam dunk All-Star season for Lowry. His minutes are down, some of his numbers are down, and he’s been injured for a few of the Raptors’ 45 games. He’s also had some surprising competition from unlikely sources such as Victor Oladipo (a deserved All-Star lock). Still, a line of 17.0 points, 6.7 assists, and 6.0 rebounds, while shooting just shy of 40 percent from three on a high volume of attempts, has to count for something.
More than that, and more even than DeRozan’s superlative season, Lowry remains the heart and soul of these Raptors. He’s there to give the team a collective kick in the ass when it needs it; he’s there to hit the big shot, or make the smart play, when they need it; and he gives the Raptors an edge, an anger, a hunger, they may not otherwise have. (Then there are those games when Lowry just refuses to lose, and he destroys another team all by himself — those are fun and good times.) Maybe that’s not something one can capture in a highlight reel, but it means something to Toronto.
So, congrats to Kyle Lowry on the honour. We look forward to seeing you, DeRozan, and Casey on the All-Star scene in Los Angeles.
(Now let’s not worry about what that bonus $200,000 Lowry just earned will do to the Raptors’ salary cap situation.)