mer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: mer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for Reply with quote

TORONTO - By now youre more than likely familiar with the stunning transformation of Toronto Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry, who established himself as one of the leagues premier players at his position last season, but what of his off-court alter ego? On the hardwood Lowry would put the team on his shoulders nightly, blossoming into the undeniable, take-no-prisoners leader that earned him a well-deserved raise this summer. A killer. Off it, he became known to some as Killah, a moniker that actually gained some traction in Torontos famously tight-knit locker room. Players would use the nickname, team employees, even the media eventually gave in. Why not? Who wants to talk to Killah?, hed ask as a post-game scrum would take shape around his locker. It was not an insignificant turn of events. For the first time as a Raptor, the occasionally crusty point guard was beginning to come out of his shell. As he got more comfortable with his role on the team and his place in the organization throughout the campaign, his personality continued to shine through his intentionally coarse exterior. Over the weekend, someone asked Lowry if Killah is making a comeback this season. Nah, not yet, not yet, not yet, he said. Maybe December, January. Then, under his breath, he mumbled, All-Star brea…, cutting off the end of the word with a laugh. If you ask Lowry to list off his goals for this coming season, hell likely do so without making a single reference to himself. First and foremost, hell talk about winning, about getting better as a team, returning to the playoffs and going further than they did a year ago. When he lists off those goals - team goals - hes not being disingenuous. Thats the type of leader hes grown into. But whether hed admit to it or not, Lowry is leaving a block open in the middle of February, hoping to be in New York for what would be his first NBA All-Star Game this winter. And why shouldnt he be? Some are still skeptical of Lowrys NBA rags to riches story. Theyve been burned by the contract year player before. Professional sports is littered with athletes who have taken their game to a new level with a raise on the line, only to regress back to the mean after getting paid. But the alternative is not unprecedented. Lowrys a late bloomer, but bloom he has. Hes following a familiar path, one paved - in part - by his mentor and good friend, recently retired point guard Chauncey Billups. Lowry was in his early 20s when he first met Billups, a meeting set up by his agent Andy Miller, who represents them both. I had always been a big fan of his, Lowry recalled in an exclusive conversation with TSN.ca last week. [Weve known each other] a long time now, but its felt like its been longer than that because hes been such a great mentor and such a big brother to me. Billups was in his prime. A few years removed from captaining the 2003-04 Pistons to an NBA Title, he had finally established himself as one of the leagues top point guards. At the time, the young Lowry had no idea how similarly their NBA careers would unfold. For Billups, the journey from fringe starter to the player we now remember as Mr. Big Shot was an unconventional one. Once a highly-touted third-overall pick by Boston in 1997, the University of Colorado product bounced around, playing for four teams in five years - including a brief and forgettable 29-game stint with the Raptors - before finding a home in Detroit. Lowry remembers being in Billupss home for the first time and seeing a row of framed jerseys on his wall. One for each team he played for. The purpose of the display, Billups told him, was to serve as a constant reminder of what got him from one place to the next and ultimately to where he ended up. What was that? Perseverance, said Lowry, his primary takeaway from Billupss wall of jerseys. Just looking at that and saying, at the end of the day youve got to find that one opportunity and once you get it, take advantage of it. A lot of it is through maturity, said Dwane Casey, who has coached Lowry through his transformation. Chauncey, he went through - I dont know how many teams - before he really hit and Kyles done the same thing. Hes been with a few teams and matured. I think its the right fit, the right teammates, the right coaching staff, the right everything and the right time more than anything else. Both are All-Star guards and theyve kind of gone through the same career path, going through different teams. I dont know what the reasons were for Chauncey being traded as many times as he was before he stuck, but it took a change of scenery and finding the right setting for him to flourish. Billups found that opportunity in Detroit, playing under Larry Brown and with a host of veterans that brought out the very best in him. Lowry has found it in Toronto. At one time, it was one of the last places he expected to find it, but now, its the biggest reason he decided to stick around. The Raptors, like those old Pistons teams, are not built around a prototypical superstar. Theyre a well-balanced, unselfish and hard-nosed group. Lowry is the hub of everything they do. Hes their undisputed leader. He never got that chance in Memphis or in Houston. He may not have been ready for it even if he had. In the NBA, most players are typecast relatively early in their careers...three years in, four years in. Fairly or not, its the reality. What are his limitations? Is he a positive or negative presence in the locker room? How highs his ceiling? The word spreads around the Association and, before you know it, youre labeled, for better or for worse. Very few break that mold once it is shaped. Billups was supposed to be an erratic shooter and decision maker, a draft bust, a role player. Lowry was labeled stubborn, combative and out of shape. Neither was supposed to be a leader. You can accept it or you cant accept it, Lowry said. And one thing about me is, I didnt accept it and Chauncey, he didnt accept it, either. So we had that trait in us, not to accept what people tried to label us as. This summer, Billups made the decision to step away from the game after a remarkable 17-year - and some might argue Hall-of-Fame - career. I knew before anybody, honestly, Lowry said. He told me it was the right time for him, and I believe him. His resume is impressive. Five All-Star games, an All-NBA Second and two Third Team selections, a championship and Finals MVP award. He didnt make his first All-Star team until he was 29-years-old, in his ninth NBA season. Amir Johnson, an 18-year-old rookie out of high school, was teammates with Billups that season. He was the captain, Johnson said of his former Pistons teammate. He was very vocal, he knew how to run the team, he knew how to stay under control when everyone was all over the place, similar to [Lowry]. After last years All-Star snub, Lowry can follow in his mentors footsteps once again. The Raptors point guard, turning 29 in March, is entering his ninth year in line for some overdue recognition. Listening to Lowry speak about his NBA journey, his evolution as a basketball player and as a man, its abundantly clear he has no intention of being a one-hit wonder. Like in most other professions or life in general, theres no blueprint for success in basketball. Lowrys path has been full of unexpected twists and turns but hes finally reached stardom. Where will he go from here? Who wants to talk to Killah? Everybody wants to talk to Killah. Eli Harold Jersey . Former two-time Olympic gold medallist Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine in both her "A" and "B" samples, the German Olympic Committee said. Jaquiski Tartt Jersey . The Wizards announced Friday that Webster had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The operation was performed Thursday in Los Angeles. http://www.thesf49ersshoponline.com/Marquise-Goodwin-49ers-Jersey/. -- Canadian Erik Bedard pitched into the fifth inning in his bid to win a spot in Tampa Bays rotation, helping the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Saturday. Garrett Celek Jersey .While Rosberg is coming off a strong victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton is dwelling on a mistake that ended his streak of five consecutive wins and kept him from increasing his advantage. Jerry Rice Jersey . Future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for a third season in double blue. The 34-year old was magnificent in 2013, throwing for just under 2,900 yards despite missing eight games, tossing an impressive 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions, completing 66 per cent of his passes in the process.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots have re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman. The announcement comes three days after a post on Edelmans Twitter account said, "Foxboro is home. Excited to be back." The Patriots did not disclose details of the contract, reportedly worth $17 million over four years. Edelman caught a career-high 105 passes in his fifth season withh the Patriots after totalling just 69 receptions in the first four.dddddddddddd He became Tom Bradys primary target after Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos before the season. Edelman also had another strong season as a punt returner. His average of 12.3 yards per return over the past five seasons is second best in the NFL, behind Devin Hesters 12.5. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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