From a drama standpoint, the best-case scenario for the Eastern Conference Finals would have been a matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. But seconds after the Toronto Raptors’ victory over the Heat in Sunday’s Game 7, Kyle Lowry gave us the next-best thing.
In his postgame sideline interview with ESPN’s Doris Burke, Lowry was asked about facing the Cavs, and called LeBron James “probably one of the best players in the league, besides Steph.”
You can watch the full interview below:
There are a few things to unpack here.
Stephen Curry is generally accepted as the best player in the NBA right now — he’s won back-to-back MVPs and this year led the greatest regular-season team of all time while having one of the best individual offensive seasons in NBA history. So Lowry’s comment was more an acknowledgement of his greatness than a shot at LeBron.
Lowry is too smart to needle James on purpose, something that usually doesn’t end well for anybody. The Raptors are already downplaying it.
But that doesn’t mean James won’t take it that way. He’s already bristled at Curry’s MVP selection, getting into semantics about the meaning of the word “valuable.” The fact that the NBA has become Curry’s league is clearly a sore spot for him.
James is going to get asked about it, he’s going to have something to say in response to Lowry, and he’s going to use this as motivation – even if Lowry didn’t necessarily mean it as an insult.