11:06 – That’s a wrap. Thanks for joining RR. One other news, the Raptors are working on a buyout with Bebe Nogueira who will be joining the Raptors this summer league – it’s around $820K.
11:05: What’s next for him as a leader? Lowry says, “We’re about to hop on a plane, go to Vegas. Have a dinner tonight. Talk to the guys”
11:04: “I didn’t want to be in a position where I was waiting on someone. You have to be comfortable in your own skin.” When asked if the interest served as validation of his skill and abilities, says yes.
11:02: Lowry interview – asked whether he even seriously considered other teams – “There were definitely times where it wouldn’t be Toronto. That’s just the process….there were pros and cons to other places, and there were pros and cons here. This was the best situation for me.” – There were more positives here.
10:58: Commercial break on Raptors TV.
10:57: “This summer, we brought back the young players and [will continue] to grow…there’s a growth process for us where we continue to give young players chance to grow”. Very impressed with all the young players so far and say they’re all “getting better”
10:56: Ujiri was in Vegas. Saw DeRozan and Ross, and they’re putting in a lot of work. Very impressed with that. Lowry has already put in work this summer and Ujiri is impressed by him already.
10:54: Ujiri: I have to do the work. You have to put that brand there. Players don’t like losing situations…we’re going to go through hard times, and there are bumps on the way…we’re going in the right direction. We got good, young players…most of our guys are coming back…playing here is something players will look at and go ‘that’s cool, it’s cool to play in that city'”
10:52: Ujiri interview here now – “We are blessed to be in this situation. [Lowry]‘s been blessed. To make a decision a day after free-agency start says a lot about Lowry and the team, city, and country” All the questions being asked of Ujiri scream of an inferiority complex.
10:51: Photo-op time. That’s about it. Individual interviews now. Devlin mentions Lowry’s charges taken for some reason.
10:49: Lowry’s talking about continuity of bringing the same core back. Gives the Spurs as an example of importance of continuity.
10:47: Lowry: “It doesn’t matter which city you’re in, what country you’re in. If you win, players will come.”
10:46: Ujiri: Everything was straight-forward. Couple minutes after speaking Kyle, I get a text from Lowry saying, “Do I need to call any players?” It was great….I wish I had more money to sign players.
10:45: Lowry: “The driving factor [for re-signing] was winning. I knew the money was going to come.”
10:44: Ujiri: “It’s my team’s responsibility to build a brand here where we create a platform for winning. Players want to win and want to be be treated well. We treat players well. It’s about winning.”
10:43: Ujiri asked about Free Agents snubbing Toronto. Makes comparison to Chicago etc., says “I’d rather live here”
10:42: “I’m not done. I got bigger plans. I’m only 28. I’ve got plenty of years left in the tank. This is just the start.”
10:41: Talked to DeRozan every day – says he was a brother and a huge part of coming back here. Talked about the importance of having a brotherhood on the team. It obviously played a big part in him coming back.
10:40: Didn’t think about this a week before free-agency started. It was easy to come back here. Masai made it easy. I didn’t want to wait for anyone else to make a decision. I was ready for day one. That’s how easy the process was.
10:38: Is glad that he “I have a city and country that I can call his own – I’m proud to be a Toronto Raptor”.
10:37: “I’ve been thinking about the process for a long time.” Says the organization is “first class”, gives everyone props and gives the Raptors credit for keeping people “in the loop”. “People say Toronto can’t sign their own free-agents. I just proved that wrong” Thanks his family and calls the Raptors a “family atmosphere”.
10:34: Lowry speaking now on the podium. “This is awesome…The fans who come here today at 10 in the morning the way the season ended..it’s unbelieavable. Jurassic Park was unbelievable….I personally want to thank you guys for the support you’ve given me the team, and the organization”.
10:32: “This is awesome”, says Ujiiri. Gives Tim Leiweke and Larry Tannenbaum props for creating an environment where signings like Lowry can happen. Calls Lowry a “changed man”, a “bulldog”, and someone who can “stand up as a man, one day after free-agency started” and make this decision. “It’s the beginning. I know he signed a new contract. It’s the beginning of something good that will happen to the Toronto Raptors”.
10:31: OK, now Ujiri is introduced and now he’ll speak.
10:30: Ujiri introduced by Devlin….Uh-oh, Devlin screwed up a little, announced him too early..had to announce Kyle Lowry, now he announces Kyle Lowry. Lowry introduced.
10:27: Matt Devlin is the MC. He’s bigging up the fans. Says that NBA found out on Jurassic Park how great the fans are. People gathered seem a little confused but applaud anyway. This is gold. Franchise-record 48 wins and all are brought up. Devlin reminds us just how long it was since the Raptors made the playoffs, fans gathered don’t want to be reminded of all that…let’s get to the point, here.
10:26: Masai Ujiri and Kyle Lowry walked into the bulding. Jones is making a wedding analogy with Lowry being the bride, etc. It’s got me all hyped. Can I be best man? They’re playing the #WeTheNorth video
10:24 – Paul Jones is talking about the importance of length in an NBA player with Sherman Hamilton. Both are trying to explain the Bruno Caboclo pick in terms that a 5-year old can understand. Jones says Caboclo comes from a “difficult background” . I’m assuming he grew up in the Brazilian slums, which by all accounts are not a nice place. So, good on Caboclo.