Kyle Lowry had no shortage of options in free agency over the offseason, as several franchises were interested in inking the veteran point guard. Ultimately, Lowry opted to sign with the Miami Heat, despite the fact he could have netted more money elsewhere. During a recent appearance on the “Pull Up Podcast” with CJ McCollum, Lowry explained his decision to sign in Miami, and cited the opportunity to compete for another NBA title as the major motivating factor. Plus, having his good friend, Jimmy Butler, on Miami’s roster also contributed to his decision.
“For me, it’s only championships or bust,” Lowry said. “Going to Miami, that was a situation where I feel like this is what they want to do. I have a close friend, Jimmy Butler, there and I feel like Miami, that’s what they want to do.”
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Lowry won a title with the Toronto Raptors just two years ago, but moving forward he felt like the Heat were in a better position to remain in the contention conversation.
“This summer, I knew the direction that Toronto was heading in and what they were going to do,” Lowry said. “They aren’t trying to tank or anything, they’re just going into a situation where those guys are younger and they’re gonna let them take the reins, you know?”
Lowry’s days as a member of the Raptors may be numbered, but he won’t quickly be forgotten by the franchise, or the city. In fact, Lowry had such an enormous impact on the Raptors that the organization plans to retire his No. 7 jersey when he ultimately decides to call it a career. Lowry will be the first player ever to have his number retired by the team.
Lowry suited up for the Raptors for nine seasons from 2012 to 2021, and he played a major role in helping the team capture its first NBA championship in 2019. Lowry made six All-Star teams and one All-NBA team as a Raptor, and he is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, steals, triple-doubles and made 3s. The decision to leave Toronto after nearly a decade obviously wasn’t an easy one for Lowry, but alongside Butler and Bam Adebayo in Miami, he will indeed have an opportunity to contend, which is what matters most to him at this point in his career.
“It’s about winning championships,” Lowry said. “If you aren’t playing for championships, what are you playing for? And that’s the only thought process that went into my free agency, is where do I go to become a champion?”