The Miami Heat‘s backward slide continued on Wednesday, as the team mustered just 92 points in a road loss to the New York Knicks. That was followed by three long days to lick their wounds and think about what went wrong before Saturday’s showdown with the Dallas Mavericks.
While he didn’t actually play in the contest due to the back-to-back situation, Kyle Lowry has as much as anybody to think about during the layover. The $28.3 million point guard scored a combined nine points over his previous two appearances on just 2-of-9 shooting and 1-of-6 from deep.
And that’s just the latest thing for fans to stew over, as the conclusion of Lowry’s second head-scratching season draws nearer to its conclusion.
Whether it’s due to age, his meme-inspiring fitness level, recurring injuries, something in his personal life or the stacking effect of the lot, the six-time All-Star hasn’t been that guy. And according to one team insider, the Heat are as taken aback as anyone by how things have played out.
Insider: Heat Had Bigger Plans for Their Partnership With Kyle Lowry
As the conversation turned bitter on Twitter — as it’s wont to do — amid the loss to the Knicks and the recent play of Lowry and Kevin Love came into focus, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson dropped something of a revelation about the former.
Specifically, that Pat Riley and Co. had a much different vision in mind when they made the big move.
“They didn’t expect this from Lowry,” Jackson tweeted. “They thought they were getting [the All-Star] PG.”
Wished may be the better term; backcourt players in the latter half of their 30s aren’t exactly known for setting the hardwood ablaze. That said, Jackson was quick to point out that ballers like Steve Nash or, more recently, Chris Paul, played at an All-Star level when they were 37 (the age Lowry turned last week).
Apparently, that’s what the Heat were banking on when they brought him on board, even as the aforementioned Hall of Fame types were major outliers.
“The drop off from 35 to 37 was much steeper than anyone expected here,” Jackson added.
While fans are criticizing Lowry for the unexpected result, Riley’s front office is taking hits as well. And they’ve probably earned them for betting so much on the longshot and losing.
Over his two seasons in South Beach, Lowry has averaged 12.6 points, 6.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest while shooting 42.5% from the floor and 36.3% from three-point range. Which is probably as much as anyone could have realistically asked of him at this juncture.
Miami-Dade County to Vote on Arena Naming Rights Deal
In the wake of cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s 2022 bankruptcy, the Heat’s home arena lost the name it had only just begun operating under in 2021. Since then, it has been known simply as Miami-Dade Arena, after the county in which it exists.
That could change sooner rather than later, though, as Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava just unveiled a proposal for a $117 million naming rights deal with the Miami-based software company Kaseya, as relayed by the Miami Herald.
Before the building officially becomes the Kaseya Center, however, County commissioners will have to approve the agreement during an April 4 vote. At that point, the NBA would have to sign off on the sponsorship.