kyle lowry press conference

Kyle Lowry says the Raptors spent the whole season wishing they were playing in Toronto

Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry spoke to the media at a press conference Tuesday morning about free agency and the challenging 2020-21 NBA season, but the point guard's most memorable words were about his love for Raptors fans as well as the city he's called home for nearly a decade.

While Lowry wouldn't answer the main question on everybody's mind about whether he'll be signing with a different team following the impending expiration of his contract with the franchise, he did express how difficult it's been for the team to be away from their home base throughout the season, and how badly they wish they could've played for fans in Toronto.

"Just know that there isn't a day where we don't think about wishing that we could be in front of [the fans] playing basketball," Lowry said in response to a question from CBC kids reporter Arjun Ram.

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't say, 'Man, I wish we were in Scotiabank playing in front of our fans, in front of our young fans, our older fans.' There's not a day that didn't go when we didn't wish we were pulling up into Ryerson University or coming off the DVP or the Gardiner, going to our home building."

In reponse to Ram, who asked what the player's message is to fans after a one-of-a-kind season, Lowry said he and his teammates played as hard as they could and tried their best to make fans proud despite the circumstances. 

Most of all, though, Lowry continued to emphasize the homesickness felt by Raptors players who were forced to play home games in Tampa as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

"There wasn't a day when we didn't miss practicing in our own practice facility," he continued. "There wasn't a day where we didn't wish that we were coming out of our home tunnel with our fans standing up there and siging autographs. There wasn't a day where we didn't think about Jurassic Park."

The Raptors were eliminated from playoffs contention with the Indiana Pacers' win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 10, marking the first time the team will miss the playoffs in eight years.

And while Lowry didn't shy away from emphasizing how difficult this past year truly was, he ended the press conference on a positive note with hopeful words for the future. 

"Our season didn't end; we just ran out of games to get back to where we needed to get to," he said. "But it's always a new year. This is a time where things are different, right? Hopefully we can get back to normal and the world can be back to normal and everybody can come and cheer as loud as possible."

Here's hoping Lowry sticks around long enough for those cheers to include his name.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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