Kyle Lowry to become first player to have his number retired by Raptors

When it comes to Kyle Lowry’s relationship with the Toronto Raptors, the old idiom “gone but not forgotten” is apt. Lowry signed with the Miami Heat after nine seasons in Toronto earlier this month, but while he will no longer be wearing a Raptors uniform, his contributions to the franchise will be long-remembered. In fact, Lowry had such an enormous impact on the Raptors that the organization plans to retire his No. 7 jersey when he ultimately decides to call it a career. Lowry will be the first player ever to have his number retired by the team. 

“He will retire as a Raptor and his number will absolutely go up there,” Raptors chairman Larry Tanenbaum said of Lowry, via The Athletic. “The honor will be the first one [for the Raptors] and I love Kyle. I love his leadership. I love his intelligence. I love his passion. I truly love Kyle… When he made the decision [to leave Toronto and join the Heat], he called me and we talked about it and I was so happy for him because I know one day he’s going to come back.”  

Lowry played for the Raptors for nine seasons from 2012 to 2021, and he played a major role in helping the team capture its first NBA championship in 2019. Lowry made six All-Star teams and one All-NBA team as a Raptor, and he is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, steals, triple-doubles and made three’s. The decision to leave Toronto after nearly a decade obviously wasn’t an easy one for Lowry, and after he made it, he took to social media to share an emotional farewell to the city and the franchise. 

“Where do I start, I was a 26-year-old still trying to find his way. Beginning to understand that I was a valued asset in this league but not yet comprehending how to be the leader I needed to be,” Lowry wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. “Trying to find trust in a cut throat business. I wanted to be the best version of myself but didn’t know how to get there. That’s when I entered the unknown, going to a new franchise, a new city, a new country, not knowing this would be the place I would call HOME for the next 9 seasons. This is hard to write but the time has come for the next chapter in my story to begin. But the bond I share with you is unbreakable. 

“The city of Toronto embraced me from the jump! The excitement, the enthusiasm, the hope… From making the playoffs for the first time in years, getting swept a few times, getting close to making the finals, finally making the finals and winning a championship! The ups and downs have been well worth it. It’s all part of the journey. Toronto will forever be my 2nd home and I will always be tied to the franchise, the city and the country of Canada which makes me so happy to say,”  

Lowry had a remarkable run with the Raptors, and given all that he accomplished with the team, it’s only fitting for his jersey to be ultimately raised to the rafters of Scotiabank Arena.   

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