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Raptors’ Kyle Lowry pays tribute to Damon Stoudamire with jersey at championship parade

Raptors, Kyle Lowry, Damon Stoudamire

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry decided to pay homage to Damon Stoudamire during Monday morning’s championship parade celebration by wearing his No. 20 jersey.

As most Raptors fans know, Stoudamire was Toronto’s first ever draft pick. The former University of Arizona Wildcat enjoyed a great rookie season with the team, racking up averages of 19.0 points on 42.6 percent shooting from the field (39.5 percent from beyond the arc), 9.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 40.9 minutes per outing.

An excellent shooter from range, Stoudamire set a record for three-point field goals made by a rookie in the 1995-96 season (133), breaking Dennis Scott’s record at that time. Stoudamire also ranked second in scoring among all rookies for the 1995-96 campaign. As a result of his outstanding play, the NBA recognized Stoudamire with their Rookie of the Year Award.

For the record: it was Kyle Lowry who broke Stoudamire’s triple-double record (three) in 2014.

Lowry has always had respect for Stoudamire’s game, so it’s only fitting that he would honor his legacy in Toronto’s biggest moment as a franchise.

Lowry posted 26 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals in Toronto’s series-clinching victory over the Golden State Warriors. He’s heard his fair share of criticism over the years, but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.

“The critics will have something else to say, which is fine. But I’m a champion,” Lowry told ESPN after Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Will those same critics quiet down a bit now?

“No,” Lowry told ESPN with a laugh. “I hope — I don’t care what they say.

“I appreciate the moment that I’m in,” Lowry said in closing. “I’m happy I’m able to celebrate this moment with my teammates and with my family. The critics will have something else to say, which is fine. But I’m a champion.”

No matter what the critics say, Lowry now has himself a championship.