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Friday, December 14, 2018

Raptors president: Kyle Lowry is mad at me every year

Masai Ujiri Raptors

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says that one of the team’s franchise cornerstones is mad at him every year.

Ujiri spoke with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on “The Jump” Wednesday and responded to comments from Kyle Lowry about their relationship. Lowry said the two essentially have a professional relationship where their roles for the Raptors are distinct.

Ujiri jokingly said that Lowry is mad at him every year. He then explained why, saying that Lowry’s feelings towards him are more a manifestation of Ujiri’s role of the bad guy who has to make sometimes uncomfortable personnel decisions, such as trading or cutting players.

The most notable move that would have hurt Lowry’s feelings was Ujiri trading away DeMar DeRozan, a franchise cornerstone and close friend of Lowry. Lowry was said to have been avoiding the front office over the summer, likely because of the trade.

Someone who builds a roster adds a bunch of players together and hopes they form bonds and chemistry and friendships, just as Lowry and DeRozan did. That same person will also have to sometimes make the tough call to get rid of players, which can lead to hard feelings. Lowry is justified in feeling the way he does, while Ujiri needs to keep doing what he does, which is make good basketball moves for the team.

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