Kyle Lowry, Steve Kerr offer perspective on pressure within NBA Finals

Kyle Lowry, Steve Kerr offer perspective on pressure within NBA Finals

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.”

[RELATED: KD officially listed as questionable for Game 5 of Finals]

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.

Warriors fans might take coronavirus tests upon entering Chase Center

Warriors fans might take coronavirus tests upon entering Chase Center

Joe Lacob doesn't sound concerned at all about revamping the roster this October to put the Warriors in position to contend for the title next season.

In fact, it seems like Golden State's owner and CEO is more focused on another key area.

"Our biggest challenge is going to be the virus and getting fans back in the stands," Lacob told Larry Beil this week on ABC7's "With Authority" podcast. "That's what we are built to do -- have a great audience and entertain our fans, as well as win a championship. So we really want to do that.

"We're working really hard in that regard, to try to figure out a way that we can resume play with fans."

Lacob uniquely is positioned to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, as he earned a master's in epidemiology from UCLA. He never thought that degree would be put to use in his professional life.

But now, it has great importance. And Lacob is at the forefront of the NBA's quest to get fans in arenas for games as soon as possible.

"I've worked with the league extensively on the testing strategies with respect to what's going on in the bubble," he told Beil. "And we're actually doing the same thing in terms of trying to lead the way (for) how we're going to maybe test fans as an example -- if need be -- when we resume play."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

So yes -- if you want to attend a Dubs game at Chase Center next season, it's possible that you will get tested for COVID-19 -- and get an immediate result -- before you are permitted to enter the building.

Then again, this probably only becomes a possibility if the city of San Francisco and public health experts give the Warriors clearance to allow fans through the doors. Additionally, it's possible the NBA returns to some form of a bubble format and avoids games in local markets altogether.

Myriad options remain on the table, and there is no timetable for when the league's plan will be finalized.

[RELATED: Report: Dubs might get clearance for team practices at Chase]

But regardless of the logistics, Lacob expects the Warriors to win a lot of games no matter where they are played.

"It really does look like things are lining up for us to be a very good team next year," he said. "It's hard to say (when) you're the worst team in the league that you're gonna be a contender for the title -- but I do think we will be."

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NBA rumors: Warriors might get clearance for Chase Center team practices

NBA rumors: Warriors might get clearance for Chase Center team practices

So it turns out the Warriors might be allowed to get together this offseason after all.

The NBA and NBPA are negotiating the particulars that would permit the eight teams not included in the Orlando bubble to hold organized team workouts, sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also provided some details.

These reports indicate the league and union have abandoned plans either for a second bubble in Chicago, or for the eight teams to enter the bubble in Orlando once playoff teams start getting eliminated.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

It's very safe to assume this latest piece of news makes Steve Kerr, Draymond Green and many others in the organization very happy. Golden State's coach made it very clear in early June that he prefers getting his team together for practices at Chase Center.

[RELATED: Warriors high on Smailagic's future despite 'bummer' season]

As for Draymond -- unless Kerr's mindset has changed, the expectation is that he will be a full participant should the NBA and NBPA strike a deal. The same goes for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

"I would not consider this voluntary," Kerr told the media over two months ago. "Given that we would be staring at a nine-month break, I would be shocked if any one of those three guys said to me, 'No, I don't want the work.'

"They all know they need the work and we all need the work. So they'll be there."

Stay tuned.

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