Before he was helping the Miami Heat in a race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Kyle Lowry was one of the key faces of the Toronto Raptors.

Lowry’s on-court chemistry (and hilarious friendship) with DeMar DeRozan made the Raptors true title contenders for the first time in their history. After DeRozan was traded for Kawhi Leonard, Lowry helped Toronto win its first championship. He was named to six All-Star teams during the nine seasons he played with the Raptors, establishing himself as a franchise legend.

On Sunday, Lowry will play in Toronto for the first time in over a year and for the first time since being traded to the Heat. He told Doug Smith of the Toronto Star that he appreciates the Toronto community immensely.

“I think I appreciate them more than they appreciate me because I wouldn’t have been able to do half the stuff I did without them.”

The former Raptors star explained that his love for the city goes beyond the team. The staffers that Lowry spent time with and the devoted fans saw him grow as a person, which made Canada feel like his home away from home.

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“The people I was able to connect with outside of basketball are special. We grew as a group and they watched me grow as a man and grow as a father and grow in every way. They were just a part of everything, they were my family and my friends. We adopted each other.”

Lowry and the Heat could end up facing the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, making for a very interesting series.