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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Pat Riley calls out Heat veteran over conditioning issues

Sep 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley address reporters during a press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat president Pat Riley had some sharp words for one of his veteran players in his season-ending press conference Monday.

Riley said point guard Kyle Lowry’s conditioning was a significant issue during the season. The Heat president suggested Lowry “can be in better shape,” and that the issue “will be addressed” before next season.

You don’t normally hear that sort of public criticism of a player’s fitness, but Riley is clearly unhappy with what Miami got from Lowry this season. The former NBA champion was the team’s key offseason addition, but he struggled toward the end of the season and missed eight playoff games due to lingering hamstring issues. The 36-year-old received criticism in some circles for looking less fit than he did in his prime years, and struggled to make an impact at times even when he did play.

Even when hurt, Lowry was still very much engaged with the team. Erik Spoelstra clearly values him highly as well, so this is not necessary the end of Lowry’s relevance in Miami. That said, it’s still a bit foreboding to see the Heat linked to another veteran guard ahead of the offseason.

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