"We're there for one reason: to play the Raptors and try to win the game."
Kawhi Leonard will return to Toronto next week for the first time since signing with the Los Angeles Clippers this past summer, as he is finally set to receive his championship ring. It should be an emotional return considering Kawhi is just months removed from leading the Raptors to their first ever NBA title, but the reigning Finals MVP was very on-brand when asked about the upcoming trip.
"I'll be thinking about just playing against the team and wanting to win the game, for the most part," said Leonard, according to The Athletic's Jovan Buha. "Just really getting my ring that night. ... We're there for one reason: to play the Raptors and try to win the game."
Kawhi and the Clippers currently hold the second best record in the Western Conference at 16-6, trailing only LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Leonard has already missed a handful of games due to "load management," but he has played at an elite level when he's on the floor. In his first 16 games with the Clips, the 28-year old forward is averaging 25 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals per night.
The Raptors have also experienced success in their life after Kawhi, thanks in large part to budding superstar Pascal Siakam. The team has won 15 of their first 20 games thus far as they gear up to face their former teammate on December 11. That game, airing on ESPN, is scheduled to tipoff at 7:00pm ET.