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Kyle Lowry’s ‘Weird’ Night Featured A Big Win, FaceTime With Drake, And Love For Toronto

Kyle Lowry likely played his last game in a Toronto Raptors uniform — at least for now — on Wednesday night. If it was indeed his last game as a Raptor, he put a fitting end on a legendary tenure with the franchise, posting a modest 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, but was a career-high +42 in a 135-111 blowout over the Denver Nuggets.

It’s a shame that he didn’t get a sendoff in front of the Toronto faithful, with whom he ingratiated himself like few players get to with a city, but it was a perfect, Lowry-ian performance before he is likely dealt to the Sixers or Heat (or, less likely, the Lakers). After the game, Lowry was emotional leaving the court, spotting the TSN cameras in the tunnel and offering an apparent goodbye.

Nick Nurse, who has seen much of Lowry’s tenure as an assistant and most recently as his head coach, spoke about his star with the knowledge that this was likely it, calling him “maybe the greatest Raptor” to ever play for the franchise.

Raptors fans will be mad, if anything, that Nurse included the “maybe” qualifier, as Lowry’s impact on the franchise is hard to overstate. In nine seasons, he made the leap to being an All-Star six times, led them to a level of consistency the franchise had never had, even if the early years saw annual playoff heartbreak, and finally was the emotional leader of their championship squad in 2019. How quickly it’s regressed from that championship to this is a strange journey, but so it goes in professional sports.

As for Lowry, he started by shouting out the Raptors’ all-woman broadcast, the first in NBA history.

From there, he couldn’t help but note how weird it was out there on Wednesday and how crazy it would’ve been in Toronto, but he was thrilled to get the win.

Lowry wouldn’t speak as if his time with Toronto was officially over, but said that being in Tampa he misses the Toronto fans and the arena staff at Scotiabank Arena.

He even got the most Toronto of sendoffs mid-presser, as Drake FaceTimed him during his availability.

Lowry was “flattered” by Nurse’s comment saying he is arguably the greatest Raptor, noting he can’t call himself that.

As for his personal growth, on and off the court, Lowry talked about his maturity and work ethic that have gotten him so far.

Lowry has said he will retire a Raptor, even if that means signing a one-day contract or coming back for a year later on. Then, he can get a proper sendoff from the fans, but for now, it’s a bittersweet moment where it seems all parties know what’s coming but none can fully speak on it.

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