Kawhi thanks Spurs, former teammates & fans.
It's been approximately three weeks since the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors agreed to the blockbuster trade that sent Kawhi Leonard north of the border, and the former NBA Finals MVP has remained silent about the move until today.
Leonard submitted a "Thank You" letter via the San Antonio Express News, in which he showed loved to the Spurs organization, the people of San Antonio, his former teammates, and head coach Gregg Popovich. The message is his first public comments since the July 18th trade.
"San Antonio, I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it comes down to two simple words: THANK YOU! My family and I want to say THANK YOU to the entire Spurs organization and the people and fans of San Antonio. THANK YOU to every one of my teammates I’ve played with over my seven years in the NBA. THANK YOU Pop I’ll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance. THANK YOU to the fans! There is not a more passionate or dedicated fan base than what I’ve witnessed in San Antonio. Through all the ups and downs – I’m glad there were many more ups! – I’ll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together. While I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I’ll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio! THANK YOU! – Kawhi Leonard"
During his six seasons in San Antonio, Leonard was a two-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to winning an NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP in 2014. The 27-year old forward only appeared in nine games last season due to injury, but all signs point to him being fully recovered and ready to go when the 2018-19 season gets underway.
Leonard's first home game as a member of the Toronto Raptors will come on Friday, October 19, when they host the Boston Celtics in a nationally televised contest airing on ESPN.