Breaking up is hard to do.
Kyle Lowry has played his last game as a Toronto Raptor.
Lowry put out a social media post to his Twitter followers on Monday, signaling the end of an era for Canadian basketball fans.
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) August 2, 2021
Reports suggest Lowry has agreed to a three-year $90 million deal in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat that will send veteran point guard Goran Dragic and power forward Precious Achiuwa to the Raptors.
NBA deals are not official until noon on Friday. Nonetheless the post from Lowry all but confirms the end of the point guards time in Toronto.
He will, at least for the time being, be know as ‘The GROAT.’ The Greatest Raptor Of All-Time.
It’s hard to argue the case for anyone else.
Lowry spent nine seasons with Canada’s only NBA franchise. Without question the most successful stretch in the team’s existence.
The Raptors struggled in Lowry’s first year, and struggled again in last year’s injury riddled, COVID plagued season in spent in Tampa. But it was the seven years in between that saw the Raptors win more than any other NBA franchise during that stretch.
The culmination, of course, was a 2019 NBA championship. The first for the Raptors. The first for Canada. The first major professional sports title for Toronto since the Blue Jays in 1993.
After the news broke Monday evening the reactions came pouring in. With some expressing sadness, some recalling fond memories, some calling for statues or honorary streets.
What was missing from the endless tributes to Lowry was any bitterness or resentment towards his decision to move on from the franchise he led for nine seasons and seven playoff runs.
For the City of Toronto, for Raptors fans, the respect for Kyle Lowry is real.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) August 3, 2021
— Danielle Michaud (@SNMichaud) August 2, 2021
Toronto is going to do public consultations on what to rename Dundas, so y'all get to work making your submissions for Kyle Lowry Avenue, so City Council can make it happen. #KyleLowryAvenue
— Momin Qureshi (@Momin680NEWS) August 3, 2021
Kyle Lowry taking a charge needs to be the next statue outside of Scotiabank Arena.
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) August 2, 2021
REMEMBER WHEN pic.twitter.com/4d83y99Fs4
— din (@klooowry) August 2, 2021
Kyle Lowry is the most hurtful breakup I’ve ever endured…
And I’m divorced???? #Raptors
— Shem (@Shem) August 2, 2021
Kyle Lowry after re-signing in 2017. Two years later, the journey we started with Kyle culminated in an NBA Championship.
He started something.
And man, he finished it. pic.twitter.com/WC5T9Wv0op
— Joseph Whalen (@JoeWhalen19) August 2, 2021
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) August 2, 2021
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) August 2, 2021
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) August 2, 2021
The @Klow7 legacy for me is what a present and loving father he’s been. He flipped a switch from intense competitor to loving father as soon as the final whistle sounded. Was so cool to witness up close. I respect how he made being a family man cool. #kylelowry over everything.
— Donnovan Bennett (@donnovanbennett) August 2, 2021
Kyle Lowry’s greatest performance as a raptor
— Scottie Stan ⁶???? ❄️ (@ScottieHours) August 2, 2021