Kyle Lowry admits he’s ‘excited as hell’ to play in Toronto again'
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The Miami Heat will take on the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, and it will be a homecoming of sorts for veteran guard Kyle Lowry.

Lowry, who spent nine seasons with the Raptors, will be playing his first game back in Toronto as a member of the Heat. The six-time All-Star recently took a moment to reflect on what that means to him.

“It’s like on one level, I know I’m gone,” Lowry wrote. “And with Sunday being my first game back, I want to show my love, and show my thanks to y’all. But then on this other level, it’s like: I hope everyone in Toronto is reading this, and almost reacting how Masai [Ujiri] did to that phone call. Like on some level, I hope y’all are thinking ‘this article is bulls—.’ 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.

“I’m excited as hell to play in Scotiabank Arena again, and to hear Raptors fans do their thing again. I’m excited to be on a court with Freddy (Fred VanVleet) and Pascal [Siakam] and O.G. [Anunoby] again — if Masai is big bro, then those are my little bros, and they’re the guys now, they’re taking over. And I’m excited to experience that energy of Toronto basketball again.”

Lowry is one of the most beloved figures in Raptors history, as he helped lead the team to an NBA title in the 2018-19 season. The 36-year-old decided to leave Toronto this past offseason in a sign-and-trade deal that brought him to Miami.

The Heat have benefited greatly from adding Lowry to the mix, as the team is currently the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 49-28 record.

Lowry has been a key contributor virtually all season, as he’s appeared in 60 games and is playing 34.0 minutes per contest. The veteran guard is averaging 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Toronto fans will likely give Lowry a warm welcome in his return to the city, and the Heat guard is clearly appreciative of all the memories he has as a Raptor. Lowry had the best stretch of his career in Toronto, earning All-Star honors in six consecutive seasons from the 2014-15 campaign to the 2019-20 season.

There’s a chance that Sunday’s game won’t be the last time Lowry plays in Toronto this season, as the Raptors are currently the No. 6 seed in the East and could face the Heat at some point in the postseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.