Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said he wasn't showing disrespect to Cleveland forward LeBron James when he recently stated that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was probably the best player in the NBA.
The comment quickly gained traction and the perception was that Lowry was slighting James as the Raptors and Cavaliers prepare to open the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
The Raptors advanced by defeating the Miami Heat on Sunday and Lowry said the following during an ESPN post-game interview: "LeBron is probably one of the best players in the league besides Stephen."
Lowry said at Tuesday's shootaround that there was no intent to disparage James.
"I would never throw shade on one of the greatest players in history of basketball," Lowry told reporters. "I would never do that. Some people will take it for too much. LeBron is LeBron James. He'll probably be (one of the) top three players of all-time when he retires."
James said he didn't take offense to Lowry's comment.
"None taken," James said.
Lowry's play will be a key for second-seeded Toronto if it harbors any chance of upsetting the top-seeded Cavaliers.
In three regular-season games - two won by the Raptors - Lowry averaged 31 points and shot 66 percent from the field.
"We can't worry about what everybody else says or what they think," Lowry said. "We got the No. 2 seed for a reason. At the end of the day, people going to have their opinions and that's what opinions are for."