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‘One of my favorite teammates’: Heat bid farewell to Kyle Lowry after he is dealt to Charlotte

‘One of my favorite teammates’: Heat bid farewell to Kyle Lowry after he is dealt to Charlotte

MIAMI — Kyle Lowry’s 2 1/2 seasons with the Heat were hampered by injury and did not result in a championship, but he did leave a mark with his teammates before being traded to Charlotte for Terry Rozier on Tuesday.

“Kyle has been one of my favorite teammates, if not my favorite teammate, since he’s been here,” center Bam Adebayo said. “… He always talks about giving me easy catches. He’s been positive toward me. I hang out with him in the summer, so he’s like a brother to me. He’ll continue to be my brother.”

Lowry, an 18-year NBA veteran and six-time NBA All-Star, brought an elder presence to Miami’s locker room, and other players spoke highly of him after the trade news broke.

“Kyle was one of those voices in the locker room,” Tyler Herro said. “Like I said, it’s never easy to get rid of someone who’s been a part of something like this for two years. But with guys leaving, guys out, guys have to step up to new roles, whether it’s leadership or roles on the court.”

Forward Kevin Love said that he and other players on the team will have to fill the void left by Lowry’s departure.

“I think losing a guy that has won a championship, has a championship pedigree as a Hall of Fame point guard, a guy that has the ear of pretty much everybody on the team. That’s obviously something that is tough to lose,” Love said. “But yeah, I think it’s an opportunity for other guys to step up, including myself, in a role that I enjoy doing myself. So it’s something that I look forward to doing.”

Jaquez doubtful, Highsmith probable

The Heat’s injury report for Wednesday is not lengthy.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., who has missed the last four games with a groin injury, is listed as doubtful for the matchup with the Grizzlies. Forward Haywood Highsmith is listed as probable with a left foot sprain.

Additionally, Rozier is listed as questionable due to the pending trade.

Big men scoring

Monday was a banner night for some of the NBA’s top big men. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid scored 70 points against San Antonio, and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns scored 62 against Charlotte.

After witnessing Embiid’s performance, San Antonio star rookie Victor Wembanyama, who is 7-foot-4, said he thinks big men are having a moment in the NBA.

“A few years back, it was more of a guards’ game,” Wembanyama told reporters in Philadelphia. “But now, it’s come back to a big men’s game. I think it makes sense in terms of the game. We got guys, some guys all around the league who do a lot of stuff despite being very tall.”

Adebayo agrees that fellow big men are doing things that players with their height have not for some time.

“I feel like a lot have been doing things that are unusual because of our size,” Adebayo said. “You look at … guys scoring 70-something, scoring 60, 50, 40. It’s throughout our league, and it’s a lot of guys that are over 6-9. So for us, it’s just that underrated skill that you can’t teach, which is height.”

NBA load management rules not fazing Heat

The Heat play the first game of a back-to-back against Memphis on Wednesday before hosting Boston in a nationally televised game Thursday. Because of the NBA’s new rules on load management, star players must be available for nationally televised games. Thursday’s game will be broadcast on TNT.

Players who made an All-Star team or an All-NBA team in the last three years are designated as “star” players. On the Heat, that includes Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Tuesday he does not feel like he’s hamstrung by the new rules, and he is more focused on the first game than the second.

“I think the intention and I think the thought process is sound,” Spoelstra said. “I think it needed to be addressed somehow, some way. Is this the absolute way, and is this where it’ll end up? I don’t know. But the NBA is taking appropriate measures to try to correct this because guys sitting out too many games is not good for the business, particularly when players are potentially healthy enough to play.

“How that will turn out for our back-to-back? I don’t know. We’ll have to see after (Wednesday) night. I’m not making plans for the second game yet.”