Ever since the Miami Heat acquired Kyle Lowry in free agency this summer, there’s been high anticipation for his first game against his former team, the Toronto Raptors, which was scheduled for Monday, January 17.
However, on Sunday, one night before the Heat will host the Raptors at the FTX Arena, Lowry was preemptively ruled out due to personal reasons, as first reported by Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman.
The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
The 35-year-old point guard has been the glue the keeping the Heat together while over half the team remained out due to injuries or health protocols, and fans wished him well on Twitter after it was announced that he won’t be playing on Monday night, hoping everything is okay with him and his family.
Hopefully, Lowry is able to return to action soon. “It’s been amazing,” guard Tyler Herro said of the six-time All-Star on Saturday, January 15. “I didn’t really know what to expect coming into the season with a veteran guy like him. But he’s been amazing for not only my growth, the team’s growth, obviously, but he’s just been amazing, on, off the court. He’s as good a teammate as it gets.”
Lowry will get another chance to face his former team later in the season. The Heat are scheduled to face the Raptors in Toronto on February 1, and again on April 3.
Goran Dragic Will Also Be Absent for the Heat/Raptors Game
Lowry played in Toronto for nine seasons before taking his talents to South Beach in a sign-and-trade deal that sent then-Heat players Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa to the Raptors.
While Achiuwa will be active for Monday night’s game, Dragic, who was one of the Heat’s most beloved fan favorites, will also be absent. The Raptors announced back in November that the ex-Heat guard would be taking time away from the franchise to deal with “a personal matter.”
Few details were revealed concerning Dragic’s extended absence, but the veteran guard appeared to be in good spirits when he was spotted training at the Heat’s workout facility just before the new year.
While Heat fans were hoping to see The Dragon back in action in Miami, the person who might be most upset over his absence on Monday night, All-Star Jimmy Butler. Back in September, Butler was already imagining what it would be like to play against his close friend.
“I want to foul the s*** out of Goran,” Butler said. “I’m not going to dunk. But oh my gosh. Yeah, flagrant one. I don’t get thrown out. Flagrant one. Oh, you damn right. That’s my guy. Then I’m going to text him, ‘I told your a** I was going to get you.'”
Toronto’s Head Coach Was Looking Forward to Facing Lowry as an Opponent
While it’s a blow for Heat Nation to learn Lowry won’t be playing against the Raptors, it’s going to be disappointing for his former coach, Nick Nurse.
“I assume that he’s gonna be ready to go and he’s gonna be hard to handle,” Nurse said, as reported by Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang. It’ll be interesting to see where they put him matchup-wise and all those kinds of things and I don’t really have much to say other than I would imagine he’s gonna play super hard and he’s going to get his guys ready.”
“And when he does that, good things happen,” Nurse continued. “We know that, right? He’s one of the best at getting the other guys to come with him and get ready to play hard and play great basketball.”