Kyle Lowry is very well liked in Toronto. Although he wasn’t fond of the city, he made his mark in the NBA as the team’s starting point guard for over half a decade. Lowry helped the Raptors become permanent competitors in the East alongside DeMar DeRozan. Ultimately, Laurie was on the team when they won the 2019 championship with Kawhi Leonard on the team.
While the Raptors have had many legends, Lowry appears to be the first player to retire from the jersey because of the franchise. The rap has already announced their intention to do so, along with awarding Lowry a statue outside the Scotiabank Arena. Kyle has also said that he will end his career with the Raptors, even if it means signing a one-day contract.
Before Lowry’s return to his old stadium as part of the Miami Heat, a life-size model of a potential Kyle Lowry statue was seen in the city at various locations.
The statue sparked a lot of conversation on social media, with many also believing that this was the official unveiling of the Laurie statue by the Raptors. While many would agree that Laurie had a legendary place within the Raptors organization, it is strange to see such a rush in decorating Laurie with a statue.
Kyle Lowry became part of the Toronto Raptors in 2012 when the Memphis Grizzlies replaced him with Toronto in exchange for Gary Forbes and a future first-round pick. By the time Lowry entered his fourth season with the team, he was already an All-Star and a loyal leader alongside the likes of Rudy Guy and Demar DeRozan.
Lowry would soon become an NBA-caliber player, but the Raptors spent four straight years getting eliminated by LeBron James in the playoffs. This led to the team trading Kawhi Leonard in 2018, with whom Lowry won the 2019 NBA Championship.
Lowry left the team this off-season for the Miami Heat, as the Raptors were looking to soft rebuild with younger players. The Raptors really did their best to honor Laurie upon his return to Toronto and he will one day retire his jersey in front of ardent fans who will remember his contributions to the franchise.