If this was indeed Kyle Lowry's final game in a Toronto Raptors uniform, it was a heck of a way to go.
Amid raging trade rumours with the NBA's Thursday deadline fast approaching, The Greatest Raptor Of All Time took the floor for maybe his final game as a Raptor Wednesday night, helping Toronto snap a nasty nine-game losing streak while posting a vintage, Lowry-esque performance, adding just a little touch of sugar to his tasty legacy before he (probably) heads out the door.
Though he posted just eight points in 33 minutes in Toronto's 135-111 drubbing of the Denver Nuggets, Lowry was efficient, shooting 3-of-5 from the floor including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. He also dished a bunch of assists, selflessly getting involved as he always has and making teammates around him better en route to a career-high plus-42 (second best in Raptors history). In doing so, he willed the Raptors out of one of the team's worst stretches in recent memory with a win over one of the Western Conference's top squads.
Lowry was his classic, scrappy self on the boards, too, hauling in five rebounds on the night including four of the defensive variety. As per usual, Lowry's on-court efforts were overshadowed only by his off-court presence and the respect and admiration the 35-year-old commands among his coaches and teammates.
With the Raptors leading big with less than six minutes remaining in the final quarter, Lowry was removed from the game and teammates and staff individually paid their respects to an absolute icon.
After the final whistle on his 592nd game as a Raptor, Lowry zipped down the tunnel toward the locker room a winner once again. With the moment seemingly setting in, Lowry gave a double peace sign to the cameras — and maybe an entire fanbase, city and country, too.
We knew Lowry would be gunning for a total, complete, all-around effort in his potential last-hurrah, so needless to say his highly anticipated post-game availability was a must-see — and Kyle delivered.
On a night that should've been all about him, Lowry kicked off his presser by shouting out TSN's historic all-female broadcast crew, a first-ever in NBA history,
"Let me start off by shouting out the women that did the game tonight. I heard it was incredible. ...That's a huge step in our league and our organization. Maybe they brought us the good luck that we needed." Lowry said, before shouting out each woman directly by name.
Lowry then spoke on the atmosphere and mood hovering over the game amid the looming uncertainty surrounding the fast-approaching trade deadline.
"I'mma be honest. Usually I bullshit y'all, but tonight was kinda weird. Of course, it woulda been crazier if it was in Toronto."
He also weighed in on his legacy as a Toronto Raptor if this is how it ends.
"The story is not complete....With that being said, I don't know, truthfully. I don't know what I want. I just know that I've given a lot and I'll continue to give my all.
"I'm not the tallest, I'm not the most athletic, I'm not the fanciest, but I play hard. It's gotten me a long way, playing hard ... I won't regret anything I've done because I've played my butt off."
From taking three charges in a damn All-Star game to leading the Raptors to their first Larry OB, Lowry only had one gear every time he stepped on the court, and he'll forever be a Toronto icon because of it.
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