When Kyle Lowry was traded to the Miami Heat last year, Toronto was never able to give the Raptors legend a proper sendoff. Due to both the 2020 bubble and last year’s decision to have the Raptors finish their season in Tampa because of ongoing border restrictions, his return to Toronto only came last night. While Lowry’s homecoming was emotional for Raptors fans across Canada, it’s clear that Lowry himself felt a large bulk of those sentimental feelings.
Lowry was looking good as he walked into Scotiabank Arena as he looked around nostalgically, even saying “What’s up!” to someone standing by who welcomed him back.
The game itself started with a moving pre-game video dedicated to Lowry, showing him from the start of his career with the North to the Raptors’ 2019 NBA Championship win. “Toronto has been my team, it’s always been home to me. I will retire as a Toronto Raptor,” we hear him say in a soundbite near the end. Hold up, let me grab my tissues!
While Lowry already predicted he was going to get emotional when he brought the Miami Heat to the city he calls home, all of Scotiabank Arena radiated their love and gratitude back to the GROAT, giving him a whopping two-minute standing ovation.
All the love didn’t stop Lowry from leading the Heat to a 114-109 victory. Walking off the court, he told reporters it was “one of the most emotional days I’ve ever been a part of.” He added that Toronto is “still home to me, it’s always going to be home.”
Toronto also did the most to let Lowry know that he’s stuck with them forever, with Mayor John Tory declaring April 3rd “Kyle Lowry Day” in the city. A video posted by the NBA’s Twitter account shows an awe-struck Lowry walking back from Tory’s office with the declaration in one hand, and his Raptors championship ring in the other.
Despite the Heat’s victory last night, there’s no love lost. Speaking to Complex Canada about how he’s still a Raptors fan, he said, “I want them to win every time they play, except for against me.”
Many Raptors fans agree Lowry should one day have his own statue erected in front of the Scotiabank Arena. While we don’t have that yet, a temporary KLow statue, made as part of a TSN promotion, was spotted around Toronto yesterday. It got mixed reactions, to say the least.
Here’s hoping they give Lowry the Louvre-worthy piece he deserves when the real thing is created one day!