Toronto Raptors legend Kyle Lowry made the difficult decision to leave the franchise that helped make him a star, departing Canada after nine seasons in order to team up with close friend Jimmy Butler and help the Miami Heat contend for what could be his second championship ring.
On paper, Lowry’s move makes a ton of sense. Not only is Miami more equipped to contend for a ring than Toronto right now, but going to the Heat also enables him to collect a sizeable payday. It hurts to see him go, but it’s hard to fault the logic behind this move.
Even with all of that factoring into his decision, it took some emotional fortitude to say goodbye to Toronto, and Lowry confirmed as such in one of the more comprehensive interviews he’s done as a Heat player.
Lowry was a guest on Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum’s “Pull Up Podcast” for one of his more in-depth interviews since deciding to sign for Miami. He touched on a wide variety of topics, but one sentiment that continued to shine through was his love for the city of Toronto and the Raptors fanbase.
Former Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has love for the franchise.
“Toronto’s blessed me, and they will always be home,” Lowry said. “The whole city, the whole country has treated me like family and I appreciate it.”
Lowry called Toronto a “Top 5 NBA city” in the interview, calling it “just beautiful.” We couldn’t agree more, Kyle.
While Lowry did plenty of poetic waxing over his time in Toronto, he also mentioned that he is locked in and fully committed to Miami. In traditional Lowry fashion, he cited Miami’s championship aspirations and capacity to fulfill those aspirations as the main reason he chose the Heat over other potential suitors.
“If you aren’t playing for championships, what are you playing for?” Lowry said. “And that’s the only thought process that went into my free agency is where do I go to become a champion.”
Lowry will be a Raptor, first and foremost, for the remainder of his basketball career, even though he’s traded in his old threads. After Toronto had to go through the painful Vince Carter exit and watching Chris Bosh bolt for a superteam, at least they were able to part with Lowry on amicable terms.
Lowry’s return to Toronto as a member of the Heat is scheduled for February 3. Hopefully, a packed Scotiabank Arena shows him the same love and adoration he received for the last nine years as a Raptor.