Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Kawhi Leonard of Toronto Raptors breaks silence to thank San Antonio Spurs

Kawhi Leonard of Toronto Raptors breaks silence to thank San Antonio Spurs

Kawhi Leonard released his first statement since the blockbuster trade that saw the Toronto Raptors land the star forward.

Leonard singled out Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in the letter, saying "I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance".

Just days after longtime Spur Tony Parker wrote a goodbye letter to San Antonio and the Spurs family, ex-Spur Kawhi Leonard has done the same.

Shortly after a meeting between Leonard and Popovich, the Spurs moved the two-time National Basketball Association defensive player of the year to the Raptors.


Though some are more heartfelt and less robotic, thank-you letters by traded players rarely say much significantly. "That trade right there shows you the difference between the San Antonio Spurs and other organizations". There is not a more passionate or dedicated fan base than what I've witnessed in San Antonio.

Kawhi Leonard thanks the Spurs' fans and organization and said he is looking forward to the "next chapter" in his National Basketball Association career in his first comments since being traded form San Antonio to Toronto this summer.

"Through all the ups and downs - I'm glad there were many more ups!"

"The best part about San Antonio, they do right by you", the Spurs forward said, according to Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant. - I'll never forget what we shared and accomplished together. The Los Angeles native improved each season he was with the Spurs, developing into a one-time NBA Finals MVP, a two-time All-Star, a two-time member of the All-NBA First Team and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. The diagnosis and treatment of that injury seemed to drive a wedge between Leonard and the Spurs organization that led him to suggest a change of teams would be appropriate.

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