Kyle Lowry reached the pinnacle of his sport Thursday night in Oakland, helping lead the Raptors to their first NBA title in franchise history.
Lowry says his critics can say whatever they want, but it won’t matter: “I’m a champion.”
The veteran point guard, sitting beside Finals MVP teammate Kawhi Leonard, reflected on a wild season in Toronto that ended with the ultimate triumph.
“No,” Lowry told ESPN with a laugh, after finishing with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals. “I hope — I don’t care what they say.
“I appreciate the moment that I’m in. 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.”
The thing that makes this Raptors championship so singular is how quickly this all came together. [Nick] Nurse is a first-year coach. Leonard, Danny Green and Marc Gasol — three of Toronto’s five starters Thursday night — arrived this season. Yet the Raptors managed to figure this out on the fly and win a title in the process.
“Professionals,” Lowry told ESPN. “You’ve watched us, you’ve been around us, you see what we’ve got — true professionals. Never settling. Whatever I need to do, I’m doing it for my team.”
As Lowry collected his family and went to pose with the championship trophy, he was asked how it felt.
“It feels great,” he said. “We’re f—ing champions.”