While many professional sports teams have had to make adjustments this season due to the pandemic, not many teams have had it like Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors have been unable to play in Toronto all year and instead have played their “home” games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. So technically, including the Orlando Bubble, the team has been on a nine-month road trip, with their last game in Toronto coming on February 28, 2020.
So do they miss home? You bet they do.
“We miss Toronto. We miss home,” Lowry told Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “We miss everything about that.”
Lowry says that he misses everything about Toronto, from the fans to the traffic.
“Being able to be around the people who are so nice and friendly and happy to cheer for you,” Lowry said. “Going to some of your favourite restaurants. Going to the stores you are familiar. Being able to drive down the Gardiner (Expressway). Driving the DVP (Don Valley Parkway).”
“Just being able to go to our practice facility, the OVO. Just the normal everyday stuff of walking Bloor Street or walking down University (Avenue) and seeing fans and interacting with them.”
Lowry also told Zillgitt that he misses the local golf courses in Toronto and hopes to be teeing off on his favourites soon.
However, Lowry recently received a taste of home in the form of a care package created by Canada’s tourism department, Destination Canada and Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia. It included ketchup chips, Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, a Nav Bhatia bobblehead and even OVO gear, among other items.
“The small little tiny things made me smile,” Lowry said about the package. “It made you miss Canada and the amazing-ness of Canada. That’s what the package did for me. You get a taste of things you miss.”