Could documentary crews following a former Toronto Raptors star have made a bit of a whoopsie in sharing just a bit too much of a big career moment?
Toronto lost a sports icon with the off-season departure of Kyle Lowry, leaving the Raptors in a sign-and-trade deal that, while long-expected, still managed to break the hearts of fans across an entire nation.
Of course, the deal hasn’t come without controversy. Smelling something fishy about the move, the NBA opened an investigation back on August 7 to determine whether the sign-and-trade violated league rules.
It wasn’t quite as bad as Robert Durst basically confessing to murder while still mic’d up, but a video of Kyle Lowry getting the big news of his move to Miami may have just given the league the smoking gun they were looking for in their near-complete tampering investigation.
The video captures Lowry talking on the phone with someone he refers to as coach, possibly Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, welcoming him to the team.
“I feel like this has been three years in the making, since we both worked at [the] Africa trip,” says the unidentified voice at the other end of the line. “You were the number one guy that I was most impressed with. So it only took about three or four years.”
After the phone call, Lowry proudly announces that he’s officially a member of the Miami Heat, but then states that he has to wait a week to share the news. Lowry would go on to post that news on August 4th.
But wait just a minute there.
If Lowry sat on this news for a full week as he claims, that means that this video was allegedly recorded on July 30.
NBA rules forbid teams from opening up trade talks with players under contract with another team before August 2 at 6 p.m., so the timelines don’t exactly look good here for Lowry and the Heat.
There could be real consequences for such alleged shenanigans, the league having brought in new, stiffer penalties for tampering in 2019. Teams could be on the hook for fines of up to $10 million, but are also subject to losing draft picks and having team executives suspended.
This was exactly the case with current champion the Milwaukee Bucks, the league ripping away the team’s 2022 second-round draft pick as a penalty for tampering.