As the Toronto Raptors continue to free fall down the NBA's Eastern Conference standings, at least one half of their All-Star backcourt has seen enough.
The Raptors' 102-101 home loss to the Pistons on Sunday was their fourth loss in six games, the low-point of a dreadful 10-15 stretch after the team got off to a sizzling 22-8 start. Lowry—who shot 5-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the arc for 15 points against Detroit—was pressed at Monday's practice following a brief, cryptic postgame interview Sunday, and asked if changes are needed within the organization.
"Changes do need to be made, we have to find a way to win some damn games," Lowry said.
When asked if he's spoken to Raptors president Masai Ujiri or the coaches about his concerns, Lowry continued: "It's not my job to speak to those guys about anything. My job is to get my shots up, to come to work, to watch film and get out of there. I don't get into the management and coaching side, that's their job—that's what they get paid for.
"You ask the big dogs [Dwane Casey and Ujiri] what they think. At the end of the day I'm going to work with my teammates. I love my teammates and I'll go out there and play for them, and that's who I play for every night."
It was the second time in as many days that Lowry threw some not-so-subtle shade, perhaps directed at the Raptors' coaching staff and management team. After blowing a 16-point lead resulting in yet another loss to a sub-.500 team on Sunday, Lowry didn't hold back during the postgame scrum.
"(We're) being put in the same situations over and over and we're not being successful. Something's gotta give, something's gotta change," said Lowry to a herd of reporters after the game.
"I'm starting to get worried, yeah. It's not going the way it's supposed to be going and things aren't changing so yeah, I'm starting to get worried," he said. The veteran added that he has an idea on how to fix the team, but wouldn't elaborate, opting to keep it "very professional" instead.
As usually-private frustrations boil over onto public platforms, it's easy to see why Lowry's concerned about the team's direction. Toronto is 10-13 since the calendar flipped to 2017, with nine of those losses coming to teams playing worse than .500 basketball. While the Raptors have the second-best offensive rating in the league, they're 12th since the New Year, and rank 21st on defence. After inching within a half-game of the conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers in December, the club now sits in fourth, behind Boston and Washington and six games back of the Cavs. Toronto is only a half-game up on the fifth-place Hawks, and 2.5 games ahead of the Pacers, who sit in sixth.
Lowry has done his part, and has further solidified himself this season as the team's undisputed leader on and off the court. The three-time All-Star sits second on the team in points (22.8 per game) while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and a career-best 41.9 percent from beyond the arc as he's developed into one of the most lethal 3-point shooters in the NBA.
The 30-year-old is most likely in the final year of his four-year, $48-million contract, as he's made it known that he intends to opt-out of a $12-million player option at the end of the season and test free agency, where he'll become one of the most prized possessions of the class. Heading into the stretch run of (potentially) his last year in Toronto, Lowry is delivering a clear message to management—if he's all in, they'd better go all in, too.