‘It showed the unity of a nation.’ Kyle Lowry’s NFT collection from Raptors championship parade a reminder of simpler times – Toronto Star

it showed the unity of a nation kyle lowrys nft collection from raptors championship parade a reminder of simpler times toronto star

‘It showed the unity of a nation.’ Kyle Lowry’s NFT collection from Raptors championship parade a reminder of simpler times – Toronto Star

Kyle Lowry wants to walk everyone back through time, to rekindle memories of a wondrous day, to put the devastation wrought by a global pandemic in the background. To let people celebrate a time of pure joy because there’s been so little of it in the last 16 months.

The Raptors guard will unveil Tuesday his seven-piece NFT (non-fungible tokens) collection of “Through My Eyes,” which puts a laser focus on the historic celebration of his team’s first championship and the journey to get to that point.

The timing is not entirely coincidental as the world continues to dig out from the pandemic.

“It was a perfect opportunity to show some love to Canada,” Lowry said in a telephone conversation. “I would say it was special, it gave us a moment: ‘Do you remember life before COVID?’ That’s really what that’s about.”

The collection of digital artwork officially launches Tuesday evening, culminating what Lowry said was months of collaboration with Canadian artist Corbin Portillo to come up with seven memorable, personal moments from the June 2019 parade that attracted millions to downtown Toronto.

“It showed the unity of a nation, of the human race. It just showed everyone being together at one point, and it was a time and a period that we just lived and had fun and enjoyed those moments,” Lowry said. “The kids skipping school and workers not really working, it was just awesome.

“That parade was, I dunno … I felt the energy and the vibe and it felt good with all the people. It was something where it was like, OK, all these things I’m putting together are truly a culmination of one day. It happened through time but one day put it together.”

A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Lowry Love Foundation, set up by the 35-year-old veteran and his wife, Ayahna Cornish-Lowry, and continues the Raptors star’s evolution outside of basketball.

The game is still his lifeblood and, in many ways, what defines him, but Lowry has a full life ahead of him and finding different avenues to explore are important to him.

There’s the NFT collection, and he’s reportedly one of the investors in the Vancouver-based blockchain technology company Dapper Labs and its virtual trading card site, NBA Top Shot. He is also involved in a billion-dollar real estate program with fellow NBAers Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday and Andre Drummond to open business opportunities for Black and Latino professionals. Lowry is finding other avenues for his future.

“My thing is basketball, my job is basketball, that’s what I’m committed to,” he said. “That’s 80 to 90 per cent of what I do. There’s my kids, my family, and I spend some time on the golf course, but my job is basketball.

“But at the end of the day, there’s things that come to you throughout your career that you didn’t know you’d have an interest in. For me, it’s growing up as a man, it takes time. I’m only 30-something years old, people say ‘Oh, he’s old.’ No, I have a full life to live.”



But one of the highlights of that life was that championship celebration and what it meant not only to him but to a larger group.

And this NFT opportunity — as part of a leading edge of the digital world and the world of cryptocurrency — is allowing Lowry to help others keep memories alive.

“It was a different space for myself and for a lot of people that I come in contact with but there’s a space for it and fans have a way to relive those moments,” he said. “Why I called it ‘Through My Eyes’ is because it’s how I felt about it … it’s really just something to give back to my fans and fans around the world.”


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