Figure it out, Kyle the game and series aren’t over

Kyle Lowry leaving the bench and walking to the locker room to “decompress” in Game 2 shouldn’t be the Toronto Raptors lone Eastern Conference finals highlight. But alas, here we are. The 9-year guard out of Villanova has been getting roasted all morning — as he should — but the issue is two-fold. Lowry is wrong, but so are the Raptors.

Toronto, perhaps inadvertently, threw Lowry under the bus. Sometimes a franchise has to save a player from himself. Say he had a hamstring tweak, bruised elbow, stomach ailment. Something, anything, that doesn’t scream “abandonment.” Chances are you’re going to get dump-trucked by the Cavs anyway, so make that the headline. The moment it was announced Lowry essentially walked off the court because he wanted to throw a pity party for himself is when this non-story became a story.

But ultimately, the mistake falls on Lowry. Who knows what’s going on in his life outside of basketball, if anything. But leaving your teammates in the middle of a game you absolutely had to win because you’re feeling bad about yourself isn’t the route to go. The All-Star point guard has played terribly in long stretches in the playoffs, shooting 35.7 percent from the field. Not a soul is going to feel bad for Lowry because he is cooking himself (get it, like Lawry’s Salt). And not to quote Jay Z, but “cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it.” For what it’s worth, too, the “decompress” session didn’t do much good. Lowry finished 4-for-14 from the field for an earth-shattering 10 points and five turnovers.

Reputations are everything in sports, and no one wants to be known as the guy who abandoned his team with a trip to the Finals on the line. However unlikely that is to happen.

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