If there was one thing Raptors fans seemed to agree on during the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Boston Celtics, it was the agony of following the seven-game defeat.
That and the collective will to honour veteran point guard Kyle Lowry with a statue outside Scotiabank Arena.
The Raptors guard, like so many times before, was his team’s heart and engine as Toronto fought to defend its 2019 championship in the NBA bubble.
Despite coming up short, many have dubbed him the greatest Raptor of all time and think he deserves a bronze likeness on Bremner Boulevard. There’s even a petition to that effect floating around the internet, if you’re so inclined.
But which Lowry do you sculpt? There is a laundry list of possibilities when it comes to the man who does it all. Here are a few options, for your consideration:
Taking charge Lowry
No one draws a charge violation like Lowry. How many times have Raptors fans seen it? He gets into an opponent’s lane, plants his feet, puffs his chest and sacrifices his body by taking a hit. Followed soon after by Lowry on his back on the floor, chin up and head on a swivel, making sure the referee made the call. We figure the charge part makes for a more imposing statue.
Taking issue Lowry
He doesn’t take a call that goes against him or his teammates lying down, so picture it: arms out, palms up, shoulders hunched, head cocked, mouth agape. Seen it before, right? It becomes easy to envision Lowry pleading a case, or the disbelieving smile and shake of the head when he doesn’t, in fact, get a call overturned. Because it does happen sometimes.
This may be tricky, but hear us out. Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks in last year’s Eastern final. Lowry passes on the break for Kawhi Leonard to dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo. As Leonard goes up, Lowry give Giannis — behind him and below the hoop — a subtle push to create space, all the while keeping his eye on the ball and out of the referee’s view. It’s Peak Lowry, right? Maybe if you can’t bronze the sequence you stick with the shove.
Zero point seven seconds to go in double overtime of Game 6 against the Celtics. Toronto’s up by three. What is Lowry doing? He’s sticking his index finger under Jayson Tatum’s arm band. It was one of the most GIF-able moments of the 2020 playoffs, a moment of levity on an otherwise stressful night, and could be a good way to remember what a pest the point guard could be.
He hasn’t always been known for his shooting, even when he was racking up points. But his fadeaway jumper over Kemba Walker to seal a must-win over the Celtics in Game 6, taking his points total to 33, was as clutch as they come and will never be forgotten by Raptors fans. If they want his likeness to be frozen in the act of shooting, that’s the one.
There are a few lasting images of Lowry after the Raptors’ championship win over the Warriors, but none more so than a private moment of celebration before the final buzzer sounded on Game 6. There’s Lowry with head bent, eyes squeezed shut, beaming from ear to ear. That moment would look good in bronze.
And then there’s the point guard on the second level of a double-decker bus, cap flipped backward and sunglasses on, clinging to the Larry O’Brien trophy while wearing a throwback Damon Stoudamire jersey — cheered on by a sea of fans. It may not be an on-court moment, but it’s one Raptors fans aren’t likely to forget.
Which Lowry you got?
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Which Kyle Lowry expression would make the best statue?