TORONTO - There's not much that will stop Raptors guard Kyle Lowry from playing. Even doctors' orders, it seems.
In an interview scheduled to air Thursday night on CBC, Tim Leiweke tells George Stroumboulopoulos of Lowry's doggedness in Toronto's 119-118 double-overtime loss to Oklahoma City on March 21.
"Kyle has been carrying the whole burden for us all year," says Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "He's wearing out. Just aches and pains and finally at the end of the game we're up, and they tell him: 'That's it. You're shut down.' And they take him back to the training table and the doctor said, 'You're done. You're finished. You're done for the night. And you're done for a couple of games here .. . you gotta rest.' And then Oklahoma does their little run at the end and all of a sudden the doctor looks around and Kyle's gone.
"He's literally darted from the training room without telling the doctors, goes back on, looks at the coach and says 'I'm in,' walks back into the game, checks himself into the game. The coach knew it, the coach was like, 'Go.' And we go to two overtimes with Oklahoma. They had to sit down with him after the game finally and just say, 'Kyle, this is it. You're done. You gotta take a couple games off.'
Lowry scored 25 points in his 46 minutes that night.
The point guard sat out Wednesday's 107-103 victory over the Houston Rockets with a sore knee, the product of a hard knee-on-knee collision with Heat star LeBron James in Toronto's loss at Miami two nights earlier.
The Raptors have to hope the ailing guard shows the same remarkable healing powers as he did after that Oklahoma City game last month.
"(Raptors GM) Masai (Ujiri) gets a call the next day," Leiweke told Stroumboulopoulos. "Our athletic trainer who's phenomenal, says, 'You won't believe this. I've never seen anything like it. I'm telling you, whatever was going on with him the swelling's gone, he's 100 per cent.' And this was a guy who was saying we gotta do an intervention to keep him out. He told Masai he's ready to go."
Stroumboulopoulos replied: "I don't believe in miracles. That sounds suspicious. What's going on?"
"Yeah, well, if there was some secret potion we had, believe me, I'd put it in the Leafs dressing room, too," Leiweke answered.
The Raptors have clinched a playoff spot for the first time in six seasons, while the Toronto Maple Leafs are battling to make the post-season but their fate isn't solely in their hands.