WINDHOEK, DEC 9 – One of the NBA’s top stars, Kyle Lowry, has explained that he expects to be highly emotional when he returns to the Toronto Raptors – as a Miami Heat player – in early 2022. The 35-year-old left the Raptors in the last off-season to join up with the Heat, forming a core trio of experience and brilliance alongside Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
Lowry is the Raptors’ all-time leader in assists (4,277), steals (873), 3-pointers made and attempted and trails only DeMar DeRozan in games played and points scored. The Philadelphia-born player represented the Canadian franchise from 2012 to 2021 and helped them win the 2019 NBA Championship.
“I’m a man’s man, but I know I’m going to be a little bit sensitive and crying that day [February 4, when the Heat visit Toronto]. I don’t know. I might hold it in,” Lowry told ESPN. “I’ve talked to [former Raptors teammate] DeMar [DeRozan] about it. But it’s one of them days where I know it’s going to be a lot of love for me and me giving love back, it’s just going to be interesting how it goes down because I don’t know what to expect.
“It’s different when you got traded from Memphis and you go back. I still get love from Memphis, which is awesome. I still get love from Houston. This is different because I continued to grow as a person in Toronto. So eight years in the city, one year I was in Tampa, but nine years overall with one franchise is a long time.”
Lowry said he still remains close with Raptors president Masai Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster and wants to wrap up his career in Toronto one way or another.
“I still text Bobby. I still text Masai. There are no hard feelings,” Lowry said. “We’ve all had an open line of communication. And for me, it was very bittersweet because I never wanted to leave. But it was more a sense of: ‘All right, my kids are getting older. I want to be somewhere where they can be stable no matter what.’
“And, yeah, everybody says you could just live in Canada, but you’d have to get a Canadian citizenship to live there. And I don’t think I would’ve lived there for the rest of my life. But I’ll be able to go back. That’s still home. Like I’ve said, and I’ll say it now, I will sign a one-day contract and I’ll retire as a Toronto Raptor. That is my everything.”
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Enjoy the following NBA games live on ESPN this week…
All times CAT
Saturday 11 December
02:45: Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets – LIVE on ESPN 2
05:05: Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics – LIVE on ESPN 2
Sunday 12 December
19:00: New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks – LIVE on ESPN