Few things on the Toronto Raptors beat are as difficult as talking to Kyle Lowry after he plays well.
If the Raptors lose, the 34-year-old Lowry is usually humble. He'll answer questions thoughtfully and he'll take time to really explain what he and the team are going through. It's when he plays well that he loves to give the media problems. He'll puff out his chest and do his usual anti-media charade.
"What, I can't hear you?" he likes to joke with reporters trying to get them to panic about their Zoom audio.
The trick to dealing with Lowry is to get him talking about someone other than himself. Ask him about Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, or Pascal Siakam and he has no problem praising his teammates. He can go on and on without ever acknowledging his own impact on the game.
It's when you try asking him about his own play, like the triple-double he recorded Tuesday night that was completely overshadowed by VanVleet's 54-point night that he'll send you tumbling in another direction.
"Don’t even worry about it," he said of his 14-point, 10-assist, 10-rebound performance against the Orlando Magic. "Came in the flow."
That's what makes Lowry so special to the Raptors. He's the type of player that makes sure to grab the game ball after VanVleet's record night and the guy who organizes a surprise locker room celebration the moment that night's hero enters the room.
"Y’all know how I feel about him. That’s my little brother, man, and I’m proud of him," Lowry said of VanVleet. "I want Freddy to break every record that I got. That's just how it's supposed to be. Records are meant to be broken."
That's how you become the greatest Raptor of all time. It's not just about the points, rebounds, assists, or the title, it's about his leadership and the way he's been a mentor to this next era of Raptors players. It's the way he's brought along VanVleet, helping mentor the overlooked, undrafted prospect into one of the league's best all-around guards.
The next chapter of Raptors basketball is coming quickly. Lowry is in the final year of his contract and his future with the team remains uncertain. It's been a nine-year ride that will eventually come to an end and when it does, it'll be moments like Tuesday night that shouldn't be forgotten.