Injured a good part of the Playoffs and disappointing on his return, Kyle Lowry did not bring as much as the Heat would have hoped. Slightly upset by his player’s big cheeks, Pat Riley did not hesitate to put his player on the spot in front of the media during a press briefing for next season.
While the Heat is barely recovering from its elimination on the wire in the Conference Final against the Celtics, the management of Miami is already looking to next season. To get off to a good start, it will be necessary to take stock of the positive points, but also of what has not been to find solutions. Kyle Lowry, for example, enters the box of disappointments. Landed in South Beach last summer – at the end of his contract with the Raptors – the guard had come to bring his experience and his leadership, two valuable elements for the Playoffs. After a decent regular season, the veteran chained the withdrawals at the end of the season and missed a lot of matches in PO due to an hamstring injury. An absence that will not immediately penalize the Heat, carried by its collective and a Jimmy Butler on fire until the Eastern Conference Finals. But while he made his comeback at the best time to play Boston, Lowry simply missed out on his streak. An exit from the road which closes a fairly catastrophic Playoffs campaign in terms of numbers: only 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists for a small 29% of address, including 24% at 3-points. To explain this, many observers have pointed to the dubious physical condition of the leader. The latter obviously spent a little too much time in the canteen when he was away from the floors. Discrepancies that did not escape boss Pat Riley, who of course did not hesitate to warn his leader in front of the press:
“To be able to give your best, you have to be in optimal physical condition. When you get older, it’s harder to stay in shape compared to when you’re younger, where you can afford more things. […] He’s going to have to fix this. I think he really can be in better shape. »
– Pat Riley, director of basketball operations for the Miami Heat at a press conference
A serious reframing which is not surprising when you know Patoche and more generally the culture of the Heat. The requirement that the Florida franchise imposes on its players regarding their physical condition is not new. Just ask Dion Waiters or James Johnson. But casually, this statement looks like a real pressure, even an ultimatum addressed to the one who can now be nicknamed “Calorie”. As a reminder, the point guard signed a three-year contract last summer for 90 million dollars. At 36 years old and 30 potatoes a season (no pun intended), we imagine that Pat Riley and Heat management will have no qualms about transferring the old Kyle. It remains to be seen whether many franchises will position themselves at this price, without the guarantee of recovering a sufficiently invested player. Of course, we suspect that this attack from Riley aims to touch the pride of Kyle Lowry and make him react.
Full video of Pat Riley talking about Kyle Lowry’s conditioning: pic.twitter.com/kQjdfUobOX
— Adam Laskaris (@adam_la2karis) June 6, 2022
At the Heat, it’s really not fun with the physical condition of the players. After failed Playoffs, Kyle Lowry finds himself in the eye of the storm. With this very salty declaration as he has the secret, Pat Riley sent a clear message to the former Raptor: we will have to move. It remains to be seen how the veteran will react to this spade from his boss.
Text source: YouTube
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Pat Riley cash with Kyle Lowry: “He must be in better physical shape”