Kyle Lowry

Lowry explains why he took this homecoming chance, picked Sixers 

The six-time All-Star is nearing a debut with his hometown team.

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Given the midseason choice, Kyle Lowry decided to come full circle.

At 37 years old, the Philadelphia native, Villanova product and six-time NBA All-Star is a Sixer.

After being dealt from the Heat to the Hornets, Lowry agreed to a contract buyout with Charlotte and picked Philadelphia as his next stop.

“You never want to play at home because there’s so much going on,” Lowry said after the Sixers’ practice Wednesday. “It’s a hard place to play when you go back home. But at the end of the day, it’s a dream come true because I’m able to play in front of my friends and family. … It’s one of those things that now I’m prepared to do it. When you’re younger, you’re not really prepared to do it.” 

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey traded for Lowry back when he was young in the NBA, bringing him to the Rockets 14 years ago.

“Kyle is going to be a guy the town really loves,” Morey told reporters at the time. “He’s a really tough competitor, up-tempo player, a winner. Jay Wright at Villanova thinks he’s the smartest point guard he ever had. He is someone we’ve had our eyes on really since the draft."

Morey’s praise for the scrappy 6-foot point guard was not excessive whatsoever.

He became a Raptors legend and won the 2019 NBA title alongside current Sixers head coach Nick Nurse. 

“We’ve known each other a long time and the relationship has grown throughout the time we’ve been together,” Lowry said of Nurse. “He wasn’t always a head coach. When he was an assistant, I would sit there and talk to him. He was my rebounding coach, my shooting coach, and we kind of grew day by day, year by year. … His abilities as an innovative mind (are) what make him special.”

We’ll soon learn what a late-30s Lowry can provide the Sixers. Though Lowry averaged 28.0 minutes this season with the Heat, his playing time and shooting percentages both dropped over the final month of his Miami tenure. 

Lowry's last NBA appearance was on Jan. 21. He practiced Wednesday and didn't appear on the Sixers' injury report ahead of their Thursday night matchup vs. the Knicks.

“You have to play,” he said of his ramp-up process. “I have to go out there, play games, get into practice, get some extra work. Just kind of get the physicality, get back on the court and back in the groove of NBA basketball.”

As Lowry acclimates to the Sixers and Nurse figures out his exact fit, he’ll be working alongside a still-young guard.

He's glad to now call first-time All-Star Tyrese Maxey a teammate. 

“I think he just has a great spirit,” Lowry said. “He has a great joy about himself. I think his talent, you don’t have to talk about his talent. But I just think his overall professionalism, his overall aura is good, and he’s just one of those guys that is always energized, always special. You don’t get a chance to be around many guys like that.”

Lowry took this homecoming chance. 

“I’m excited to be here,” he said. “I understand my role and my job. My job is to make sure that Tyrese gets better, that this team gets to a point where they haven’t been in a while. … I’m going to do everything I can to make this team and this organization better.”

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