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Fred VanVleet says Kyle Lowry still watches every Raptors game

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Miami Heat embraces former Raptors teammate Fred VanVleet. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Miami Heat embraces former Raptors teammate Fred VanVleet. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry hasn't been a member of the Toronto Raptors in more than a year, but that doesn't stop him from keeping tabs on his former club.

In fact, current Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet says his old teammate is a more loyal viewer than most fans.

"He watches all of our games, believe it or not," VanVleet told reporters after Wednesday's game between the two clubs. "I watch as many of their games as I can stomach. I'm a Kyle fan, I'm not really a Heat fan."

Toronto holds a special place in Lowry's heart, and he enjoys tuning in from afar to keep up with players he's known since their rookie days.

"They're my guys... I've known them since they've been in the NBA and I'm just happy to be able to be a part of their successes in their careers," Lowry said. "I love to watch them be more successful and grow and continue to build their legacies and their careers. I just want to be a big brother who's really proud of his little brothers."

VanVleet and Lowry have remained particularly close since the latter's departure from Toronto, communicating nearly every day. Lowry has been a valuable resource as VanVleet continues to emerge as the Raptors' main floor general and rise to stardom.

When the two friends square off on the court, the niceties have to temporarily go out the window. VanVleet insists Lowry's signature style of play doesn't get under his skin, except for when the officials fall for his veteran tricks.

"It's funny for me," VanVleet said. "I don't get frustrated. There's nothing he can do that would frustrate me. It's annoying when he tricks the referees. Other than that, it's fun watching him still do what he does. I thought he was old three years ago, so to see him still kicking and making an impact and putting pressure on the defence, you can just see the greatness in him."

VanVleet's Raptors got the better of Lowry's Heat on Wednesday, walking away with a 112-104 win. The student outperformed the teacher in the contest, with VanVleet scoring 23 points with nine assists while Lowry finished with 19 points and two dimes.

VanVleet will have to rub that in during his next conversation with Lowry.

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