The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions, it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves. And one repeated postseason opponent has admitted he's pleased to see Kyle Lowry, in particular, getting that kind of success. Canadian baller Tristan Thompson said Lowry deserves his ring after years of getting "beat up on" by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.
Thompson and the rest of the Cavs are in town tonight, Monday, December 16, to face the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.
The Brampton-born power forward was asked for his thoughts on his hometown team's success. And he explained, albeit in a rather backhanded way, that he's particularly pleased for Lowry.
Thompson told NBA.com: "It was huge for the city, huge for the country in general. Toronto's basketball's on the rise."
And he continued: "It was especially huge for Kyle, just because I know how many times we'd beat up on him in the playoffs."
The Cavaliers star is referring to the fact the Raptors were ousted by the Ohio franchise in the postseason in three consecutive seasons before last season's run to the championship.
The Raps lost 4-2 to the Cavs in the 2015-16 Eastern Conference Finals. They were then swept 4-0 by the same opponents in the EC semi-finals in both of the following two seasons.
The Cavaliers, of course, had LeBron James as a difference-maker. Lowry, meanwhile, was a critical component of Toronto's team in all three years that they lost to Cleveland.
Since that time, of course, Toronto and Lowry have done alright for themselves.
Recently, though, a serious debate has begun to emerge among fans about the role that KLow should continue to play with this team.
That talk was sparked by his injury and the fact that the Raptors ostensibly did not miss their longtime point guard too much in his absence.
He's still an adopted Toronto hero to many, though.
Meanwhile, Thompson has been linked with a potential move to the Raptors in recent times. However, fans certainly didn't seem too enamoured with the idea of his arrival.
And, again, his comments ahead of Monday's game appear to have rubbed Torontonians the wrong way.
Brampton doesn’t even claim Tristan Thompson and he thinks he has the right to speak?? Ever???— ❁ (@❁)1576528445.0
I wanna see the boys put a pounding on Cleveland tonight and make Tristan Thompson choke on his bone-head comments. #outtaherebro— Nick Prαsαd▲ (@Nick Prαsαd▲)1576534507.0
"Brampton doesn’t even claim Tristan Thompson and he thinks he has the right to speak?? Ever???" read one indignant message.
The tip-off between the Raptors and the Cavaliers is at 7:30 p.m. EST at Scotiabank Arena tonight.