If you live in or near Philadelphia, Kyle Lowry showing up with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy on Friday must have induced some mixed feelings.
Sure, there are few more proud of their Philly roots than the Raptors star point guard. However, it’s tough to forget that Toronto’s run to NBA supremacy did include a heart-crushing second-round series against the hometown 76ers that ended with Kawhi Leonard’s iconic buzzer-beating shot in the dying seconds of Game 7.
While Leonard will forever be remembered for hitting the greatest shot in Raptors’ history, Lowry was solid throughout the series and also a big reason Philadelphia was eliminated. In those seven games, he averaged 13.1 points, 6.0 assists and 5.1 rebounds.
Thankfully for Lowry, time, the chance to touch basketball’s top prize and some back-to-school supplies have appeared to heal some of those wounds.
“I know Sixers fans probably want it for them, but as a native son being from here, it’s more important for the neighbourhood kids to see this, to see what they’re striving for,” Lowry told ABC’s Jeff Skversky about how special it was to bring the trophy to Philadelphia for the first time in his career.
On top of it all, the five-time All-Star also donated $15,000 to the Hank Gathers Youth Rec Center in North Philadelphia, according to Skversky. It’s the same building where he played basketball as a kid before starring at Villanova and, eventually, in the NBA.
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