Newspaper article The Canadian Press

All the Buzz about Leaner Lowry as Toronto Raptors Prepare to Open Camp

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

All the Buzz about Leaner Lowry as Toronto Raptors Prepare to Open Camp

Article excerpt

Lean Lowry the talk of Raptors media day

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TORONTO - Eyes turned and followed Kyle Lowry when he strode into the Air Canada Centre practice gym on Monday. Who's the skinny guy in Lowry's jersey, someone joked.

The Toronto Raptors' traditional season-opening media day had an air of newness. But nothing was as remarkable as the new and improved Lowry, who had teammates and media alike marvelling at his off-season metamorphosis.

"I see him in the locker-room the other day. And I'm like 'Man, I've never seen this before. You've always been this short, chunky, bulldog-fat kid that I've known since my first year in the NBA,'" Patrick Patterson recounted, prompting laughter from reporters. "I'm like 'Seeing you like this, it's like the evil twin brother or something. I don't know.'

"It's just weird but I'm happy for him. He looks great. Talking to him, he said he feels great so I'm proud of him."

The Raptors point guard is coming off a roller-coaster season that saw him earn NBA all-star honours then struggle down the stretch. The Raptors set a franchise record with 49 wins, and won the Atlantic Division title. But they were swept by the Washington Wizards in the opening round of the playoffs.

Lowry went into the off-season vowing to turn things around. His body was a big part of that.

"Sometimes you get older, you've got to change your body a little bit. And I'm not a young pup no more, but it's just about the future for me, it's about being healthy," Lowry said.

The 29-year-old, who's listed at six foot one and 196 pounds, hired a nutritionist, and said he changed the way he ate. He wouldn't say how much weight he'd lost, but it was a couple of belt loops at least.

"None of my pants fit, I can tell you that much. Dead serious," he said.

The change was clear in his lean face, cut arms and narrow waist.

"I feel faster, I feel a lot lighter, I feel quicker, I feel sharper. I still feel strong because when I go in the weight room, I still move the same weight I've always moved," he said -- then added to a reporter: "I can still bench press you."

His wife is a fan.

"It's nice having abs, I can walk around with my shirt off, my wife's like 'wow.' She likes me," he said, laughing. …

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