Rap­tors’ Lowry, Ibaka stay­ing to ‘fin­ish’ job

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - LORI EWING

TORONTO — When Kyle Lowry pon­dered all of his bas­ket­ball op­tions, he says he kept com­ing back to the same place — Toronto.

The three-time Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion all-star point guard is re-sign­ing with the Rap­tors, an­nounc­ing his de­ci­sion on Sun­day in “The Play­ers Tri­bune.” The 31-year-old re­port­edly signed a three-year $100 million US deal.

His de­ci­sion, he wrote, is all about fin­ish­ing what he started.

“It was up to me to de­cide whether this thing we have — is it worth stick­ing around for, and run­ning it back again, and see­ing if we can take that next step?” Lowry wrote. “And like I said — to me, that was an easy de­ci­sion. The an­swer is yes.

“If you’re look­ing for peo­ple to be­lieve in — choose the peo­ple who be­lieved in you first,” Lowry wrote. “And if you start some­thing? Man, you fin­ish it.”

The an­nounce­ment was good news for the Rap­tors, who will also have Serge Ibaka next sea­son. The Rap­tors and Ibaka agreed ear­lier in the day to a three-year worth $65 million US.

“I don’t think we’ve reached our true po­ten­tial,” Lowry wrote.

“At the end of the day, this was an easy de­ci­sion. And all of those roads ... they all led me back to the same place: home. They all led me back to Toronto.”

The 31-year-old guard opted out of the fi­nal year of his con­tract in May, and said in the Rap­tors’ post­sea­son news con­fer­ence he wanted to win a cham­pi­onship. “I want a ring,” Lowry said. “That’s all that drives me. I want to just get bet­ter, I want to have fun, I want to win a ring.”

Paired up with DeMar DeRozan, who re­ceived a five-year deal worth $139 million US last off­sea­son, the Rap­tors will con­tinue to have one of the most for­mi­da­ble back­courts in the league. The duo led the Rap­tors to back-to-back 50win seasons, and four con­sec­u­tive play­off berths.

“My heart is telling me that this is the best city in the world, with the best bas­ket­ball fans in the world,” he wrote.

The fa­ther of two young sons men­tioned the im­por­tance of keep­ing his fam­ily happy.

Kyle Lowry

Serge Ibaka

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