Kyle Lowry to become first jersey retired by Toronto Raptors

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Kyle Lowry has been Mr. Raptor.

There were questions about his commitment to the game and leadership when in 2012 Houston traded Lowry to the Raptors for Gary Forbes and a first-round pick (used on Steven Adams). Since coming to the Raptors, Lowry has been the face of the franchise, been a six-time All-Star, made an All-NBA team, and, most importantly, helped lead them to the 2019 NBA championship.

Lowry is now in Miami as Toronto starts building towards its next phase, but Lowry will always be a favorite in Toronto. Raptors’ chairman Larry Tanenbaum spoke to Jared Wiess of The Athletic and said Lowry’s number would be retired — and he may someday sign a one-day contract to retire a Raptor.

“He will retire as a Raptor and his number will absolutely go up there,” Tanenbaum said, confirming Lowry will have his No. 7 retired. “The honor will be the first one (for the Raptors) and I love Kyle.

“I love his leadership. I love his intelligence. I love his passion.”

He deserves it. Before Kawhi Leonard showed up and led the Raptors to a ring, Lowry had led the best stretch in Raptors basketball history — they had won at least 48 games five straight years and made some deep playoff runs.

Lowry was the best player on those teams and the face of the franchise in the city. Someday there may be a statue of Lowry in Toronto, but for sure he will be the first Raptor with his jersey retired. A deserved honor.