Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Masai Ujiri reconnect

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After Toronto traded DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry gave Raptors president Masai Ujiri the cold shoulder.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Then came this February in the days leading up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline. Lowry and Ujiri had a long-awaited, and possibly overdue formal sit-down for the first time since the DeRozan deal. It was vocal and engaging, impassioned and, according to Lowry, worthwhile. They shared their feelings on what had lead up to that moment, placed their thoughts in front of each other and strategized on how to move forward … together.

“It was a well-needed conversation,” Lowry told The Athletic. “It was a very professional conversation and it had to be done. We had to get everything on the table. Listen, ‘Let’s have this conversation, let’s get everything out on the table, and move on.’ And that’s what grown men do. They have conversations, they figure it out, and you move on.

I’m glad this happened. Lowry and Ujiri have been through so many highs and lows together, and their competitive personalities match. Only stubbornness kept them apart so long.

As Lowry explained during times of greater tension, he focused on playing and let Ujiri focus on running the team. Both are professional enough to do their jobs amid turmoil. But everything operates more smoothly – and is just more enjoyable – when people get along personally.

Up next: DeRozan and Ujiri mending fences. That one might take longer, but I bet it’ll happen.