As DeMar DeRozan approached 2016 free agency, he told me he’d let Kyle Lowry determine where he signs. So, I asked Lowry whether he’d urge DeRozan to stay with the Raptors. Lowry said no, that he’d support his friend’s choice no matter what.
But in an awesome development – besides the Raptors’ championship, of course – Lowry and Leonard have developed their own strong relationship that includes similar banter.
Interviewing Leonard and Lowry together, Rachel Nichols of ESPN asked Lowry whether he’d recruit Leonard back to Toronto. Leonard interjected:
He don’t want me here no more.
I’ve never been a guy to pitch anything to anybody. He’s going to make the decision on himself, and I’m going to be happy for whatever decision he makes. Of course, I want him as my teammate. But he’s going to make a decision that’s best for him and his family, and I’m going to support him. I’m going to be happy for him. At the end of the day, he helped me get what I wanted to get.
The newfound friendship was especially on display before the interview, when Leonard arrived with his Finals MVP trophy.
What a cool gesture. And Leonard was right. Lowry was so important to that Game 6 clinching win.
This moment was a long time coming for Lowry. He clearly enjoyed it – and enjoyed sharing it with Leonard.