The Toronto Raptors broke the hearts of lots of fans when they decided to trade their most loyal player, DeMar DeRozan, to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs. One of the people who’s most affected by the trade is DeRozan’s best friend, Kyle Lowry. DeRozan and Lowry are not only an incredible backcourt tandem, but they also have a good relationship off the court.
In the first week of the 2018-19 NBA season, Kyle Lowry was caught doing the same ritual he did with DeMar DeRozan before the start of the game. In the video posted by Yahoo Canada Sports on Twitter, Lowry performed his usual pregame handshake with an invisible DeRozan.
Speaking on NBA TV, the All-Star point guard revealed why he still does the pregame routine even though DeMar DeRozan is no longer with the Raptors.
“That’s just been working for me for a long time,” Lowry said, via NBA.com. “He’s still my dog. He’s my best friend in the world.”
Kyle Lowry explained that the pregame handshake is more about his own tradition rather than DeMar DeRozan. No matter what other people will say, Lowry said he has no plan to change his pregame routine.
“People saying, ‘He’s not dead, he’s in Texas.’ Hey listen, this is about me,” Lowry said. “This is about me keeping up with my tradition. Yeah, that’s my dog and he’s always gonna be my best friend. But it’s more about tradition.”
— NBA (@NBA) October 21, 2018
As of now, the Raptors continue to show that the management made the right decision to trade DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has been very impressive in his first two games as a Raptor, averaging 27.5, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. However, since Leonard just recovered from an injury that sidelined him for most of the 2017-18 NBA season, the Raptors decided to be more cautious and rest him on the second night of back-to-back games.
Luckily, despite not having one of the star players, the Raptors still managed to beat the Washington Wizards, 117-113, on Saturday night at Capital One Arena. In Leonard’s absence, Kyle Lowry stepped up for the Raptors, finishing the game with 28 points, 12 assists, three rebounds, one steal, and one block on 47.6 percent shooting from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.
In their fourth game of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Raptors are set to face the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.