After nine seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry moved on this summer, joining the Miami Heat in one of the biggest shake-ups of the offseason. While Lowry was a free agent, he officially arrived in South Florida as part of a sign-and-trade that sent Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to Toronto.
In nearly a decade with the Raptors, Lowry made six All-Star games, an All-NBA Third Team and helped them win their only title in franchise history in 2019. He also grew up along the way and fell in love with the city. Which is why, when the Heat eventually make their road trip to Toronto, Lowry is going to be emotional. In a recent interview with The Undefeated, Lowry reiterated his plan to retire with the Raptors on a one-day contract at the end of his career.
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"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 [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.
"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."
Lowry also said that he still talks to Raptors front office personnel like Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster. His decision to leave was about his desire to compete for another championship before the end of his career rather than any sort of issue with the Raptors. At 35 years old, Lowry only has a few more years left as a top-tier guard, and the Raptors are going to rebuilding during that time.
Whether the Heat can reach that peak remains to be seen, but they're off to a great start in Lowry's first season. Through the first month-plus they're 11-6, which is good for third place in the Eastern Conference and just 1.5 games behind the first-place Brooklyn Nets. The Heat are also one of just two teams (the other being the league-leading Golden State Warriors) to be in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating.
The Heat will play the Raptors twice in January, but both of those meetings will be in Miami. They'll travel to Toronto on Feb. 3 for Lowry's homecoming, which is sure to be a must-watch event.