Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner

By the time you read this post, the fate of the NBA finals may have been determined. After watching a drama filled game five, I am prepared to name the MVP, regardless of who wins the series. Ready for this one? Kyle Lowry is my MVP.

Here is why.

Kevin Durant is the X factor for the Warriors that was missing for most of the NBA playoffs. Risking his health and further injury, he played in the pivotal game 5. Shortly into the second quarter, Durant went down with a serious and series ending Achilles heel injury. Knowing his impact in the game, many Toronto fans were happy to see him incapacitated, thinking it paved the way for a Raptors victory. Thus, after falling down, many Toronto fans cheered loudly at his wound and pain.

Demonstrating leadership, Kyle Lowry, a Toronto player,  walked over to Kevin Durant to help him walk off the court and admonished the home fans for cheering at his pain. Knowing the Raptors had a chance to win their first ever NBA finals in this game, Lowry was able to compartmentalize his desire for winning and his compassion for a hurt player. Further, he used his leadership to tell the fans in Toronto how best to calibrate their emotions. We do not cheer for injuries!

Frankly, the world needs more leaders like Kyle Lowry these days. People that can decipher right from wrong. People with passion and drive yet, compassion and empathy. People that give 200% on the court and also know that their leadership transcends the moments when the shot clock is running.

Kyle Lowry is my MVP of the NBA series, regardless of outcome. It is too bad that his actions need to be recognized as our collective goal instead of our universal standard.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner