Kyle Lowry says ‘thank you Toronto, thank you Canada’ in farewell post

Kyle Lowry thanked the Toronto Raptors and Canadian basketball fans in a farewell post on social media Wednesday, saying “Thank you Toronto, thank you Canada, this will forever be home!”

The franchise icon will be departing for the Miami Heat in a reported sign-and-trade deal when the NBA’s free-agent moratorium period lifts on Friday. Over the past nine years, the star guard from Philadelphia led the Raptors through the most successful era in team history — highlighted by seven playoff appearances and a championship win in 2019.

“This is hard to write but the time has come for the next chapter in my story to begin,” Lowry wrote. “But the bond I share with you is unbreakable.”

Lowry, 35, leaves the Raptors among the franchise leaders in games played, points, assists and triple-doubles. But his status as the Greatest Raptor of All Time was earned for his role in putting Toronto on the NBA map after the franchise struggled for years to find an identity. There’s no “We The North” rallying cry without Lowry’s unstoppable will to win.

In the statement, Lowry thanked teammates, coaches and other team employees as well as Drake and “best friend” DeMar DeRozan. “I wouldn’t have been able to build the relationship I’ve been able to build with him without this city,” he said of his long-time co-star.

But he also made sure to thank the fans across Canada for welcoming him and his family with open arms and giving them a second home.

“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 wrote.

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