It’s the end of an era for Canadian basketball. Kyle Lowry is undoubtedly the greatest Toronto Raptor of all time, but now he’s off to the Miami Heat, where he’ll hope to make more history there. After nine memorable years and one glorious NBA championship in the 6ix, the All-Star guard got moved in a sign-and-trade deal to Miami on Monday.
The news was confirmed by Lowry himself, who took to social media to make the announcement. (Trigger warning, Raps fans: This will sting.)
The 35-year-old will reportedly sign a three-year, $90 million deal with Miami. Toronto will reportedly receive Goran Dragić, Precious Achiuwa, and a second-round pick to complete the transaction.
Even though we’ve known that Lowry’s departure was likely for a while, the news shattered the hearts of many fans, who shared their love, respect, but also sadness to see him go.
Mayor John Tory made a statement on Twitter about Lowry’s departure, noting that “this one really hurts” and proposing a celebration after the city is out of Stage 3. He suggested the creation a statue of Lowry to celebrate his legacy.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid his respects to Big Kyle as well, thanking him for all the memories he made for Canada.
Drake, who is back in Toronto celebrating the Raptors’ newest draft picks, also congratulated Lowry in his IG stories.
Lowry’s now-former Raptors teammates have been saying their farewells to the iconic point guard as well, including next-man-up Fred VanVleet.
Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon said Lowry “embodied the Toronto Raptors fanbase more than any player has ever personified their team.”
Some fans shared videos of Lowry throughout his career with the team, including his very first and very last bucket.
Some fans are calling this an end to an era now that both Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are gone.
Other fans said Lowry’s departure hurt worse than the breakdown of their marriage.
Some people just did not take the news well at all.
There was no shortage of artistic tributes to the GROAT.
The Raptors have yet to release an official statement on Lowry’s trade. There’s also no word on what moves they’ll make to replace him, but they’ve reportedly signed restricted free agent Gary Trent Jr. to a $54 million contract over three years.
Lowry himself hasn’t released a statement saying goodbye to Toronto, but we can expect a heartfelt one coming soon. In the meantime, he’s been active on Twitter, most recently liking a tweet suggesting that he and DeRozan, who’s currently still a free agent, could reunite on the Heat.