Kyle Lowry was overwhelmed by the Toronto fans during his return to the Scotiabank Arena as a Miami Heat player.
Lowry finally made his way back to where it all started after missing the previous Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat game in Toronto. Luckily for him, that game took place without fans because of COVID-19. Now, the fans were here, and so was Mr.Raptor, and it’s never too late to look back at an emotional moment.
Let’s take a look at Lowry’s memorable night.
The first giant ovation came during the warm up. There were cheers, goosebumps, and excitement when Lowry came out the tunnel. He dashed past his teammates, and scored the first layup. The crowed erupted.
Lowry joined the Raptors in 2012, and left for the Miami Heat in 2021. Those 9 years were the most historical years of Lowry’s career, and for the Raptors too. It’s no surprise that both experienced the highs and lows together. The reason why 20,000 Raptors fans broke out was because of what he did for the city of Toronto and for Canada. He helped transform a lacklustre and hopeless franchise, into historic champions in 2019. He brought a title to the Toronto Raptors, and to Canada.
“I missed everything about the city, the country, the organization,” Lowry said in a pregame press conference. “It’s a lot to miss.”
Lowry spent nine seasons with the Raptors. He remains the franchise leader in assists (4,277), steals (873), 3-pointers (1,518) and triple-doubles (16).
“It’s a place I called home for a long time,” Lowry said of his emotions about returning to his old arena. “I won a lot of basketball games here, set a lot of records here. I’ve got a banner hanging up in there. It’s just a special place.
This was it. PA announcer Herbie Kuhn introduced the other four Heat starters. The lights went out, and the video for Lowry’s tribute began. That is all it took. A simple, heartfelt video, one that showcased Lowrys growth and development as a Raptor, as well as his highlights on the court, and off it too. The people that work at Raptors games in the media and video teams put their heart into the video. It was obvious that it came from the heart, because of how much Lowry means to Toronto, and vice-versa.
The video ended, and Mark Strong introduced Lowry with the trademark; “From North Philly, to you city…” and Kyle made his way to halfcourt with his two sons, Kameron and Karter. He held their hands up high in gratitude, but tried to contain his emotions. He previously expressed that he might cry, but said before the game that he would try to hold it in.
“I know if I cry, DeMar’s going to make fun of me and it’s going to go viral and all that stuff,” Lowry said, referring to longtime teammate DeMar DeRozan. “I’m looking forward to just being in the moment.”
Though it didn’t seem long enough, the ovation lasted a good two minutes. Lowry looked around, and soaked in every single applause and cheer that came out of the fans’ mouths.
The Result and Aftermath
Even though Raptors fans were delighted to see Lowry come back, coach Nick Nurse didn’t have time for any sentiments.
“I hope to God we ruin his night,” Nurse joked.
Lowry wasn’t going to back down from any challenge.
“As a competitor, I know the competitiveness is going to come out, so I’m going to try to win it,” he said, “but I’m going to enjoy this moment and enjoy being here.”
Lowry’s emotional return for the Toronto fans turned sour quickly, after Lowry’s Heat squad narrowly avoided defeat. The visitors downed the Raptors 114-109. Lowry obviously had an important role to play in the victory. He played 35 minutes with the following stats: 16 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds. It was the cherry on top for what would be an unforgettable night for Lowry.
“For the fans to show their appreciation, to give me an ovation like that, to be out on the floor with some of my former teammates, my brothers… the first time is special,” Lowry said. “You don’t forget that.”
Lowry was impressed and flattered by the quality of the show that was put on by the organization. It meant the world to them too, and it means everything that they share the love — I love them, they love me.”
Lowry concluded that he will keep this moment close to him.
“It’s something I’m going to cherish for a long time.”
Published by: HOLR Magazine.