Miami Heat

Heat's Kyle Lowry calls Toronto home, reiterates plan to retire as member of Raptors

Kyle Lowry may no longer be a Raptor, but his goal remains the same.

"That's still home," Lowry said of Toronto in an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. "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."

Widely regarded as the greatest player in franchise history, Lowry was traded to the Raptors ahead of the 2012-13 season. He spent nine seasons in Toronto, posting averages of 17.5 points, 7.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Lowry earned six straight All-Star selections with the Raptors between 2014-15 and 2019-20. He also played a leading role in the franchise's championship run in 2019.

Lowry left the Raptors as the all-time leader in triple-doubles, assists, steals and 3-pointers made.

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In the offseason, Lowry joined the Miami Heat by way of a sign-and-trade, bringing an end to his time with the Raptors.

Lowry says he still keeps tabs on his former teammates and considers them family.

"And I've left the franchise in a place where Pascal [Siakam] is an All-Star, right?" Lowry said. "He's going to come back, have a great [season]. Freddy's [VanVleet] going to continue to get better. He's going to emerge as an even better leader. They're guys who are still young. OG [Anunoby], you see his emergence as the offensive player. They will get more of the attention now.

"I would take all the blame because I wanted to. I never wanted them to have to deal with that stuff, because I just felt I could take the world on my shoulders. And they can, too, but now it's theirs. I left the franchise in a great place.

"They're taking it from me and saying, 'We got you.' And it's a proud moment. I still watch their games. I've talked to Freddy. I've talked to OG and I've texted Pascal before his first game. I still talk to [ex-Raptors guard] Norm [Powell]. We've created bonds that we will have forever. And those are people, those are kids and guys that are men now that I'll support and cheer for no matter what the situation is."

MORE: Heat quickly taking form of a Lowry team

Lowry will face the Raptors for the first time as a member of the Heat on Jan. 17 in Miami. The Heat will host the Raptors again on Jan. 29.

On Feb. 3, Lowry will make his highly anticipated return to Toronto. Due to the Raptors spending the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, it'll mark Lowry's first game in Toronto since Feb. 28, 2020.

Ahead of his return, Lowry says he's talked to DeMar DeRozan, a close friend of his and a former teammate, about what's to come.

"I'm a man's man, but I know I'm going to be a little bit sensitive and crying that day. I don't know. I might hold it in. I've talked to DeMar 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."

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