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article imageRaptors All-Star Kyle Lowry signs first Canadian endorsement Special

By David Silverberg     Feb 9, 2015 in Sports
At a press conference for his first Canadian endorsement, with athletic apparel company Sport Chek, Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry spoke about his youth, his long-term contract with the Toronto, and his first all-star appearance coming next week.
Dressed in all-black, Lowry strode onto the practice court at the Air Canada Centre with the swagger of a man brimming with confidence. Lowry, 28, has good reason to puff up his chest and smile broadly: He's been named to his first All-Star Game after nine years in the NBA, and he's quarterbacked the Toronto Raptors to their best start in franchise history (35-17 as of Feb. 9).
Lowry wasn't just grinning for the media flashbulbs. He was here to cement his first brand partnership in Canada, aligning his tenacious self with Sport Chek, best known for athletics clothing and sports equipment. This two-year relationship further develops Lowry's commitment to Canada, made first obvious when he signed a four-year, $48 million contract with Toronto.
"This is home for me," Lowry said to media. "I'm staying here for a long time."
When asked about how he's looking forward to the All-Star game on Sunday, he said, "It's going to be fun, I'm going to enjoy it."
He went on to say playing for the Raptors is "an exciting time for me." That's putting it mildly: Lowry is playing the best basketball of his career. He's reached a career-best 18.8 ppg and 7.4 apg and his defense has been remarkable: Lowry, only at six feet, is taking charges, stealing balls, and out-hustling his opponents. If anyone is the heart and soul of the Raps, it's undoubtedly Lowry.
His passion for ball has been long-chronicled, but today he noted again what the sport has meant to him: "When I was young, all I did was play basketball. I just wanted to be better than my little brother," he adds with a smile.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey compares Lowry to another well-known all-star: "He does enough of those things now that reminds me of what Gary Payton did for us in Seattle or what Jason Kidd did for us in Dallas. It's those winning plays that help you win a championship. He knows the game and he knows the other teams' tendencies, a lot like Jason and Gary did. And that's what I'm trying to mold him and fit our system in that style of basketball which I know will win in the NBA."
Amid his rising star, even before his All-Star inclusion, Lowry is still training his focus solely on one thing and one thing only: "All I care about is winning," Lowry said in this NBA.com article. "I don't care about anything else but winning. That's how I've been all my life."
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