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Ultimate Rockets » Disgruntled Lowry feels it’s his time to move on
Barely three weeks after surgery to repair a sports hernia and torn abductor muscles, Rockets guard Kyle Lowry returned to the Toyota Center weight rooms and went through shooting drills on the practice court.
But as he leaves town Saturday, he does not know if he’ll return to those familiar facilities or if he wants to be back.
Lowry does not believe he and Goran Dragic, his successor as the starting point guard this season, will both return to the roster next season. Lowry was even less confident he and Rockets coach Kevin McHale can successfully coexist.
“I don’t think so,” Lowry, 26, said. “I honestly think it would be tough. Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed.
“If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved.”
But McHale did not believe the issues were too great for him and Lowry to work well together.
“That’s very surprising,” McHale said. “I didn’t think we had too much of a problem coexisting this year. Everybody has a little beef every once in a while. I didn’t feel like (there were problems). He apparently did.
“There were times that we didn’t agree on things. There were times that I got on him. I don’t think it was unduly harsh on anybody.”
Lowry and McHale seemed most at odds during a late-season game in Denver when McHale grabbed Lowry and pulled him back toward a huddle during a timeout with Lowry reacting angrily on the court. Both downplayed the incident in the next few days, but Lowry confirmed he needed to be restrained.
“My teammates pulled me away,” Lowry said. “They did a good job.”
GM, coach see no issues
General manager Daryl Morey, however, believes Lowry and McHale can succeed with the Rockets, especially with a second season together that includes the offseason and training camp that they did not have last season because of the NBA lockout.
“I think Kyle and coach McHale are both winners and both competitive guys,” Morey said. “I don’t anticipate any issues going forward.”
The more pressing situation could be the Rockets’ choice at point guard. Dragic will be an unrestricted free agent and has said his goal is to be a starter with the responsibility to run a team’s offense.
Dragic is expected to be targeted by several teams offering that opportunity, but Morey said the Rockets intend to sign Dragic. The GM and McHale met with Dragic after the season.
“I think they work well together as players,” Morey said. “We plan to sign Goran.”
Lowry considers Dragic worthy of the attention, but he said having both point guards likely would not work.
“I would say I don’t think so,” Lowry said. “We’re both capable starters. We both want it. It’s going to have to be a situation where they make a decision on one of us.
“It has nothing to do with Goran. I’m not happy with the way coaches handled things. If management wants to do something to keep Goran, I think I’ll have to be moved.”
If Lowry remains on the roster, teams offering Dragic a clear path to start could be at an advantage to sign him, but McHale said he can play Lowry and Dragic together.
“I like that lineup with those guys out there,” McHale said. “They played together and I thought played very well together at times. There were many times I thought it was a very, very good lineup.”
Working on rehab
For Lowry, his rehabilitation after the surgery is key no matter what happens with the Rockets.
“I played through the sports hernia since July,” Lowry said. “It got worse. I got banged up. I got sick (with a bacterial infection that hospitalized him for a week). I had surgery to fix the hernia and abductor tears. It was definitely a crazy year for me. It’s a big summer for me to come back healthy, to get a whole summer of my usual offseason training.
“I think I’m still a foundation guy. You can build around me. If I’m not here, that’s welcomed. If I’m here, I guess that’s welcome, too.”
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