Kyle Lowry thanks Toronto in emotional farewell letter to the Raptors
Kyle Lowry, oft hailed as the greatest Raptor of all time, is officially leaving Toronto for Miami after nine seasons of ups, downs and life-changing moments — but it isn't without a great deal of heartache, as a letter posted to the athlete's Instagram account Wednesday night reveals.
"Thank u for everything Toronto, Canada," reads the caption of that ten-part post, three parts of which are screenshots of typed documents expressing Lowry's deep appreciation and love for the time he has spent as a Raptor.
"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. 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," the letter begins.
"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."
While he acknowledges that the letter is hard to write, Lowry explains that "the time has come for the next chapter in my story to begin. But the bond I share with you is unbreakable."
Thank you so much for everything Kyle! You are the GREATEST RAPTOR OF ALL TIME! pic.twitter.com/wuS5hJjwQs— Ayush #10🎯💯 (raps & heat fan ig) (@ItsAyushVaru) August 5, 2021
The 35-year-old Philadelphia native and six-time NBA All-Star writes that there are so many things he wants to say about Toronto that he can't put them all in one place. And yet, he tries.
"The city of Toronto embraced me from the jump! The excitement, the enthusiasm, the hope! It started off well for me personally, but the success of the team had it was ups and downs for sure. But that the business, right?" reads Lowry's letter.
"Toronto will forever be my second 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 then goes on to thank a whole host of Raptors coaches, managers, brass and staff who he says have all collectively helped shape him into the player he is today.
"All the people I've met during the way, the friends I've made, the people I've come across, the stores I went to, the partners I've made that have become family... Thank you all for being a part of me," writes the 2019 NBA Champion.
kyle lowry’s goodbye letter to toronto im crying 😭 pic.twitter.com/Nhox1qlEoe— . (@stcrnights) August 5, 2021
Perhaps a bit predictably, Lowry also shows love for Toronto's (other) chosen son, writing "Drake, aka 6ix god, you showed love from the start and as you grew to be one of the greatest to ever do it, so did the team you are an ambassador to the team. You helped us get the love from the world that we deserved! Thanks brother!"
Drizzy thanked him right back in the comments of Lowry's Instagram post.
"Can't believe it my brother you will be missed!" wrote the Toronto-born superstar. "Thank you for all of those incredible years... see you in Turks."
But it wasn't Drake who touched Lowry's heart the most in terms of friends he made living in the 6ix.
"I met my best friend DeMar [DeRozan] in this city and I wouldn't have been able to build the relationship I've been able to build with him without this city," reads the letter. "All my teammates that I've ever had in Toronto I'm blessed to have been able to be y'all teammate."
Thank You Kyle!Proud of all your Accomplishments!The Heart & Soul of this Team that will NEVER be forgotten!Forever be the 🐐! 6ix X Allstar!2019 Champions!Always will be in our Heart & Forever a Canadian 🇨🇦Also,Thank you for Blessing us with @blessedmom07 Unto the Next Chapter! pic.twitter.com/UpC8Frir5T— Marilyn Nicholls (@Marilyn0926) August 5, 2021
Lowry, a driving force behind Toronto's historic 2019 NBA Championship win, shouted out the boys he won the NBA Finals with in particular, noting "we went through a journey that's never to be forgotten bringing that GOLD BALL to the city and the country, we will never be forgotten love y'all."
"I've legit gave blood, sweat, and tears and everything I could," says Lowry, who currently holds the Raptors' franchise records for most triple-doubles and most three-point goals in a season, at the end of his letter.
"Thank you Toronto, thank you Canada this will forever be HOME!"
It also helps that we know he'll be back.
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