TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry was asked to speak on the definition of the word “pressure” during media availability Sunday at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors’ veteran point guard fielded the question and responded with a heavy dose of perspective.
“What my mom had to go through and my grandmom had to go through, feeding myself, my brother and my cousin and my little cousin and my other little cousins,” Lowry said. “Going to work, getting up at 5 in the morning and going to work and making me cereal, having a bowl of cereal sitting in the refrigerator with some milk and being able to provide for me and my brother and my family. That's pressure. That's pressure to me.”
Pressure, like so many other words, is overused in the sports world. Lowry’s understanding of the bigger picture behind the meaning of that word outside of the lines of a basketball court speaks volumes about his character and his strong upbringing.
“Just being willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that your kid will see better than what you've ever seen,” Lowry continued. “Getting up and taking public transportation an hour and a half away. People like that are heroes to me -- just going to work and grinding, and doing whatever it takes to provide for your family and protect who you have to protect.”
Win or lose, Lowry has achieved a tremendous level of success both professionally and financially, in large part because of the sacrifices that others made for him along the way.
He’s endured plenty of hard work to get himself and his team in a position to win an NBA title. But his ability to take a step back and appreciate that his path is not his alone is refreshing.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked a follow-up question regarding Lowry’s statement. Without hearing the opposing guard’s words, Kerr added to the conversation.
“I agree with Kyle,” the veteran coach said. “We play basketball for a living or coach for a living. We're among the luckiest people on earth. I don't know if that was Kyle's angle, but that's how I approach things.
“It's all perspective,” Kerr added. “We are incredibly lucky to live the lives that we do and to be here competing for an NBA championship. When you talk about pressure and daunting tasks and all that, just look around the world. We're doing all right and we're lucky, and we know how lucky we are.”
Lowry’s team is up three-games-to-one in a best-of-seven NBA Finals they never were expected to win. Kerr cemented his legacy with three championships in four years.
If Lowry is given an opportunity to win the game in the final seconds or Kerr has to draw up a play that will decide the outcome of the series, their perspective on pressure might change. Then again, both seem grounded enough to understand that it’s only a game and there are much more important issues facing people in the world outside of basketball.