Does Kyle Lowry need to retire with the Toronto Raptors?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Finally an NBA champion, Kyle Lowry is heading into the final years of his career. Does he need to retire with the Toronto Raptors?

Until being traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2012, the NBA career of Kyle Lowry was a little disappointing. As the 24th overall pick for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft, Lowry only played 10 games in his rookie season before suffering a season-ending broken wrist which required surgery to fix.

After competing with Mike Conley for the starting point guard spot on the team, Lowry was believed to be unhappy with his role on the team and was considered, by many, as a bad locker room presence. So, he was traded to the Houston Rockets.

Things started well at the Rockets, but once Kevin McHale was installed as the team’s new coach the wheels fell off the wagon and Lowry clashed with management yet again. After Goran Dragic impressed in Lowry’s absence, due to a bacterial infection, the Rockets decided to head down another route and ship Lowry off to another country. Out of sight, out of mind. Right?

Lowry, thankfully, ended up with the Toronto Raptors. What a ride it has been for the former Villanova man. It didn’t start plain sailing for Lowry in Toronto, though. He battled Jose Calderon for the starting spot and almost found himself being shipped off to New York in 2014. Kyle Lowry as a New York Knick?

It doesn’t feel right.

Lowry has since been a five-time NBA All-Star, one-time All-NBA selection, and of course, an NBA champion. All those accolades have come in the best years of, not only, his career, but in the most successful years in the Raptors franchise history. That’s not a coincidence, the two are intricately linked in every way possible.

A stabilizing force for the Raptors over the past five years, and the best player on the team for four of them, Lowry has been at the center of all of the team’s success in the last few years. There’s still a lot left in the tank for Lowry at a high level, even at 33 years old (he’ll be 34 in March).

He’s a free agent at the end of this year and recently signed with a new agency: Priority Sports.

Wherever Lowry goes next, if it’s not the Raptors, it shouldn’t be the end. Kyle Lowry has to retire as a Toronto Raptor. It’s really that simple.

Sure, he’s a Philadelphia guy, and maybe there’s an avenue where he could be with another contending team, but Lowry just means too much to the city of Toronto as a whole. Lowry is the underdog, the NBA player that has always been slighted as not being tall enough, fast enough, or consistent enough to be a star player.

He dispels that notion yeat after year, even if people refuse to recognize it. In essence, he is Toronto. The city that shouldn’t have been the host of an NBA team. The one that was always bounced out of the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion, or the one that couldn’t attract star free agents.

Or the one that couldn’t win a title.

DeMar DeRozan was seen as Mr. Toronto after his “I am Toronto” speech. But the floor is open for anyone to be that guy. Embrace the city, the lifestyle, and the fans. Lowry has done it all in winning fashion.

Lowry might not always have been the face of Toronto, but there’s no doubt that he has been the teams beating heart for the last seven years. Long may those years continue.

Next. Who will be the Raptors most improved player this season?. dark

A match made in heaven, Lowry has a home in Toronto after years of trying to find his place in the league. The Raptors were patient with him, and boy did he reward them.

If Lowry does decide to call time on his career in a few years, one can only hope that he retires with the Toronto Raptors. But let’s just hope that it’s a long way away.