“Kawhi Leonard rubbed people the wrong way the way he operates”: Kyle Lowry explains how his role changed for Toronto Raptors in 2019 championship run after adding ‘The Klaw’

Amulya Shekhar
|Published September 02, 2021

Kyle Lowry talks about how Kawhi Leonard demanding to ‘be the man’ in Toronto led to his scoring going down in their championship year.

Kawhi Leonard treated NBA fans to one of the most legendary individual playoff runs by any player ever in 2019. It would be no exaggeration to say that he put Toronto on his back and willed them to victory – particularly against the Sixers and the Bucks.

Kawhi’s playoff run in 2019 yielded him 732 total points through 24 appearances, good for an average of a whopping 30.5 points per game. This he did while playing elite defense on any and every assignment given to him.

We saw Giannis put together a great playoff run of his own to lead his Wisconsin team to a championship win. But anyone who watched both runs and is impartial knows FOR A FACT that Kawhi’s run was better than this.

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“Kawhi Leonard rubbed people the wrong way the way he operates”: Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry, who’s recently signed with the Miami Heat, was a guest on the Pullup Podcast by CJ McCollum. He talked about their championship run at length in this appearance.

While doing so, Lowry also went into real detail about how Kawhi’s arrival in Toronto really got him to change the way he played alongside his teammates:

“Kawhi rubbed people the wrong way because of how he operates. He’s like, ‘Yo, give me the ball. I’ma get it done.’ You might be like, ‘Kawhi, I’m open.’ But he’s like, ‘I’m gonna get this bucket.’ You understand he’s the best player. Big dog gotta eat.”

“We give you the ball, you do your thing, we go and win games, it’s all good. So my role really changed, because the year before, I had to score. But I just went to straight (passing).”

“He got us 24, 25, we had others around – Marc Gasol, Danny Green. Freddie was coming into his own, Pascal was coming into his own, we had Serge. So my scoring was way down, but my assists went up, because I knew that I had to make sure that big dog gotta eat.”

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About the author

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar is a sports junkie who thrives on the thrills and frills of live sports action across basketball, football (the American variant works too), parkour, adventure sports. He believes sports connect us to our best selves, and he hopes to help people experience sports more holistically.

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