Kyle Lowry Says He Regrets Not Learning More from Kevin McHale in Houston

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 19, 2014

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 18: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks on March 18, 2014 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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At the helm of the playoff-bound Toronto Raptors and enjoying his recent ascent into the upper echelon of NBA point guards, Kyle Lowry has done just about everything right this year.

But all of his success hasn't prevented him from acknowledging something he did wrong in the past.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Lowry opened up about one of his biggest career regrets: 

I would have done things differently in Houston. I really respected Kevin McHale. I wish I would have had an opportunity to play for him longer. The things he was teaching me, well, I didn't understand right away. When you get away from someone, though, see it from the outside looking in, you go back and think, 'Damn, I could've learned some more things from the guy.'

Lowry's notorious "bad attitude" probably played a hand in keeping him out of this year's All-Star game, and his admission of fault for the way things went during his four seasons from 2009-2012 in Houston is a clear sign he's putting that negative rap behind him.

In hindsight, Lowry's relentless work ethic and early adoption of analytics made his eventual rise to this level practically inevitable. But another trait—perhaps the one that makes him most effective on the court—nearly kept him from reaching his considerable potential.

Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson told Wojnarowski: "Kyle's greatest strength is the bulldog in him, and when that bulldog is channeled the in right direction, he's tough to handle on the floor. And when it isn't, he's tough to handle everywhere else."

Lowry couldn't focus his intensity in Houston, especially after Rick Adelman, a coach he loved, got a pink slip. He tuned McHale out. But he's grown up now, and Sampson's analysis has proven true.

On the year, Lowry is posting career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes. His defensive effort never wanes, and he's an absolute terror in the open floor. Few point guards around the league set a better tone for their teammates, and none play harder.

Best of all, Lowry will get a chance to showcase his skills in the postseason. And those who follow him on a regular basis, like Eric Koreen of the National Post, know Lowry will put on a hell of a show this spring:

He couldn't keep his attitude in check under McHale, resulting in a significant rift and an eventual trade to the Raps. There's no changing that now, but all's worked out for the best.

And Lowry's recognition of his past mistake is just another sign that his mental maturity is reaching the same new heights as his game.