Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry says when he retires it will be as a Toronto Raptor

Considered by many to be the greatest Raptor of all time, Kyle Lowry has announced that he plans to retire as a Toronto Raptor.

"Let me say this, I will retire as a Toronto Raptor," said Lowry following Wednesday night practice. "That, if I'm here, I will retire as a Toronto Raptor. You know, one-day contract, hey, whatever happens."

With trade rumours swirling around the beloved point guard as the NBA's March 25th trade deadline approaches, there has been much speculation about whether Lowry's time in Toronto is coming to a close. 

Even if he isn't dealt at the deadline, Lowry's $30.5 million contract is set to expire at season's end, leaving other teams free to try and recruit the six-time All-Star

Lowry said that Toronto will always be his second home, so even if he does find himself playing for another franchise, Canadian basketball fans can rest assured knowing he will always be a Raptor at heart.

As mentioned, signing a one-day contract to retire as a member of his longtime team remains a possibility even if Lowry finds himself suiting up for another franchise. 

He wouldn't be the first beloved Toronto athlete to do so, with Roy Halladay having signed the ceremonial contract to retire as a Blue Jay after closing out his playing career in Philadelphia.

The tragedy of fan-favourite athletes is that they eventually leave either through trade, free agency, or retirement. Though knowing Lowry loves the city as much as the city loves him makes the transition a little easier to bear.

When Lowry does eventually retire as a Raptor, there's little doubt that the franchise will return the favour and retire his number 7 as well. The greatest Raptor of all time has helped win a championship, represented at All-Star  games, and led the team on the court for nearly a decade.

While his playing career may be drawing to an end, his importance to the Toronto Raptors and Canadian basketball will live on forever.

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