The 36-year-old Lowry penned a letter through The Players’ Tribune prior to the reunion at Scotiabank Arena, and gave some insight into how exactly the conversation with Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri went, when Lowry told him that he would leave the team where he earned his championship.
“‘This phone call is bullsh*t.’ That’s the first thing Masai said to me, last summer, when I reached out to him about the news,” Lowry wrote. “He was just playing, of course. He didn’t mean that me leaving the Raptors was bullsh*t. He didn’t even mean that me joining the Heat was bullsh*t. What he meant, though, was like — the idea of us needing any type of conversation about it? That was bullsh*t.”
Lowry was a Raptor for nine seasons and with the ring already on his finger and the team clearly entering a re-tooling phase, there was a mutual feeling of moving on. Clearly, Ujiri felt that there didn’t even need to be a conversation, as the guard that brought Toronto into the top tier of basketball organizations had long since done enough to earn another shot on what was considered a strong contender in the East.
Ujiri himself has stated in the past that his former cornerstone point guard is, in his mind, the Greatest Raptor of All Time — probably the highest level of praise a player could get from their team president.
Lowry continued, detailing the relationship between Ujiri and himself and how it is more than just a typical boss-employee connection.
“It’s bigger than just ‘work stuff,’ where you’re leaving one job to go to another, so you give the old boss a call to say thanks,” Lowry wrote. “Nah. It’s deeper than that with me and Masai. When you’ve been through what we’ve been through? When you share the history we share? That’s not just the GM on the other end of the phone. That’s big brother. That’s family.”
Lowry is no doubt excited to return to the arena where he achieved the most in his career, and highlights there will always be an existing connection between him and the Toronto fans.
“It’s like on one level, I know I’m gone. And with Sunday being my first game back, I want to show my love, and show my thanks to y’all,” he wrote. “But then on this other level, it’s like: I hope everyone in Toronto is reading this, and almost reacting how Masai did to that phone call. Like on some level, I hope y’all are thinking ‘this article is bullsh*t.’ Not because there’s any hate, but because that’s how much LOVE there is. Because that’s how much it goes without saying, what the last nine years meant. And what I feel about everything that we accomplished together.”
After expressing his excitement to be around Raptors fans again, Lowry also went into detail about the Raptors’ future and their current core; the players like Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam, who he shared the 2019 championship with.
“It’s never going to be a wrap between me and this city. With family, it’s never goodbye.”
Lowry will always be a Raptor for life, that’s for sure.
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Source: Yahoo Sports