Raptors News

Locker clean-out: Kyle Lowry will opt out, hasn’t thought beyond that

Kyle Lowry spoke with media after completing his end-of-season physical on Monday. Here’s a quick look at some of what he had to say.

On his player option

“Honestly I haven’t thought about the criteria. I haven’t thought too far ahead about any of that. I will be opting out and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Honestly, that is as far as I’ve gotten. We lost yesterday. I still have to get my ankle healthy, get treatment, get to that point. Right now I haven’t got to the part.”

This is just a formality. I have something pre-written for when that becomes official, but like with DeMar DeRozan last year, it’s just paperwork that’s long been assumed.

On whether he’s lying about not knowing yet

“I haven’t thought about it. I wouldn’t BS you guys . I would, but I’m not this time.”

On his free agent priorities

“A ring. Nothing else. I just want a ring.”

Can he get that in Toronto, though?

“I think I can do that anywhere I play. That’s just how confident I am. I’ve just got to be better. I put a lot of pride and joy into how hard I work. I’ve just got to work harder. I’ve got to do something different. I’ve got to get better. I want to beat the best. Whatever it takes to beat the best, that’s what I’ve got to do.

I haven’t thought about that (money). Honestly, what I’ve thought about is yes, I’ll opt out and how I’ll get better as a basketball player. That’s all I’ve thought about. And I want a ring. That’s all that drives me…I think that’s a question for our GM and president and assistant GM. As players, we can say yes. Of course we believe we can. Of course I believe I can get a ring wherever I am. That’s just how I think.”

On his relationship with Dwane Casey

“Me and Coach have had our ups and down and ups and downs. But it’s been great. Coach Casey has allowed me to become a three-time All-Star and allow me to become the player I am and have a voice, to grow. He’s been great to me. He’s helped me tremendously, helped me be me, a better man, a better basketball player.  Coach has always been in my corner and had my back. I think our relationship has grown from here to here.”

“He allows us to make mistakes. He allows us to have say in the things we do, and he doesn’t hold us back. He wants us to go out and get better…He’s a guy that if you prove you can do it, he’s going to want you to do it.”

On his relationship with DeMar DeRozan

“I think we are beyond basketball. It’s as simple as that. We have created something bigger than basketball, bigger than a lot of stuff. We are friends. We are family, you know what I’m saying. Family matters are more important than anything. If basketball comes between that then we are not really true friends, but I know that’s not going to happen because that’s my family.”

On personal improvement for next year

“I know I’m older, but I want to get more explosive if I can. I might try to dunk if I can. A big goal. Sounds good, though.”

On sitting out the last two games

“Man, it sucked. I wanted to be out there with my teammates and I wanted to play. Sitting on the bench in Game 3 suited up and knowing I can’t play, Game 4 sitting there trying to help my team no matter what it was – helping them see plays, coach – it just sucks that I wasn’t able to help my team and that’s the most disturbing thing with me right now that I couldn’t help my team when I wanted to.”

On his comments to Woj about nobody being able to catch LeBron James

“We don’t have LeBron. But I also said you have to do whatever it takes to beat the best. So whatever that takes. For me that takes getting better. It takes me getting some type of better. To beat the best you’ve got to be the best. I’m going to work harder to beat the best. That’s what I want to do, beat the best, whoever it is: the Warriors, the Cavs, whoever wins the championship this year, I want to do whatever it takes to beat them as a basketball player, to beat them.”

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