For the past two seasons, perhaps no player in the NBA has put up more impressive, under the radar numbers than Houston’s Kyle Lowry. He was the litmus test for all fantasy players: if you knew and respected Lowry’s worth, then you knew your fantasy hoops. In 2010-2011, Lowry was a monster in the second half of the season, and even averaged 19.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.1 assists a game during March. And then this year, despite nagging injuries that severely limited his production during the season’s final month, the 6-0 point guard still averaged 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.6 dimes a night with a PER of just below 19.
Houston might’ve just missed out on the playoffs (again), but you couldn’t fault their point guard. While he says he was happy for the opportunity to finally start, Lowry recently admitted in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t believe he and Kevin McHale could co-exist any longer.
I caught up with Lowry late last week as he was making his way to New York City for an event that New York’s Jared Jeffries was putting on to talk about his summer plans, his favorite restaurants and what he has in store for next season.
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Dime: What have you been doing since the season ended?
Kyle Lowry: I had sports hernia surgery and abductor surgery to repair my things I had to get taken care of physically. Last week, I got prepared to start working out so I’m back at it, back on the court and getting after it a bit. Just preparing myself to be better for next year.
Dime: With the grind of the season, how often do you find yourself getting small procedures done in the summer?
KL: Me personally, this was my first time having a procedure in the summer time. I did my sports hernia a year ago and I just kind of played through it. I didn’t think it was going to get as bad as it did, and it got bad. But a lot of guys usually want to get their body cleaned up and rested. But with the grind of the season, I’m sure a lot more guys are getting things done that need to be taken care of this summer that occurred during the season.
Dime: When the season normally ends, do you have a set schedule?
KL: I usually go on vacation. I take some time off to enjoy my family, to enjoy my son â€“ family, friends and my son. I enjoy all the time I can possibly get with that. I also try to take a little vacation and get away from the game. Then, I get back to weight lifting after a couple of weeks away from the game and your get your body complete rest. And then you start back up. You get back to working out â€“ not working out with a basketball, but lifting. Me personally, I lift. I do a little cardio, do things differently to completely get away from basketball. I do everything I can to kind of clear my mind from basketball and the grind of the season.
Dime: Do you usually go home to Philly and work out there?
KL: Yeah, I workout at home in Philly. I’m in Philly at Villanova for most of the summer and then I go out to Vegas to finish up my training right before the season to get prepared for the grind and go out to hang out with the guys that are out there training. That’s all out at Impact with Joe Abunassar.
Dime: Last year, you had a breakout year in a way. A lot of people thought you could’ve been an All-Star. Do you think you should’ve been in that game, and if not, how close are you?
KL: To be honest, yeah maybe I could’ve had an opportunity to be in the game, but I work hard for my team to win games. Maybe I could’ve snuck in there, but the guys â€“ Tony, Steve, Russell â€“ all those guys are elite guys. And they’re good. They’re really good. I’m just waiting my time. My time will come. My hard work I put in, the dedication I have for the game… my time will come. It’s just a matter of patience. Me personally, I wasn’t upset. I got a chance to go on vacation and hang out. Rest my body (laughs). So it’s not anything I was upset about. I believe it would’ve been fun for me to get that experience. But a time will come when maybe I will be an All-Star. Until then, all I work on is getting better as an individual player.
Dime: You’ve been putting in work since you became a starter in Houston. Was that something you could do all along or did you really get a lot better?
KL: I think I got better. I think I’ve gotten better. I’ve never been given the opportunity until I got to Houston with Rick Adelman. Unfortunately with Aaron Brooks going down with an injury, Rick Adelman gave me an opportunity to go out there and show what I can do. And I believe if I had been given an opportunity earlier, I could’ve done the same thing, but you know, like I said, it’s a lot of patience. A lot of time. You have to earn it. I believe I earned it. I work hard enough. I believe once I got the opportunity… I’ve shown it. I’ve shown I’m a starting point guard in this league. I’ve always believed it. Once I got the chance, I got to take advantage of it, and I’ve taken full advantage of it.
Dime: Is any of it politics?
KL: Nah. I don’t really care about the political side of everything. I just go out there and hoop. It is politics in the game, but nobody really worries about that. I just go out there and play basketball because that’s my job. I get paid to be a professional athlete and do a job, and I’m blessed to be able to do that.
Dime: Your future in Houston, I know you made some comments at the end of the year. What would be your ultimate situation next year?
KL: Honestly, I don’t know. To be honest, I can’t wait. With me not healthy at the end of the year, I want to get back and get back to playing basketball, get back to playing at a high level. I just want to go play. At the end of the day, I just want to go play. You know what I mean? That’s my job. I get paid to play basketball. I’ll worry about everything else when the time matters. But right now, it’s more about me getting healthy, me getting back to my old self, getting into a groove where I’m ready to do it next year.