Kawhi Leonard made his first public comments since the San Antonio Spurs traded him to the Toronto Raptors in July.
Throughout the season-long saga, Kawhi Leonard rarely made comments to the media to clarify his situation with the San Antonio Spurs and the status of a mysterious right quadriceps injury. Instead, it became one of the NBA’s biggest storylines of the 2017-18 season and resulted in an offseason trade request.
The Spurs sent Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick on July 18. Since then, DeRozan, Green and Poeltl have provided public comments, but no one heard anything from Leonard, aside from the photo with Raptors brass on social media.
Well, on Thursday morning, Leonard finally broke his silence. He released a statement to thank the Spurs, the fans and the city of San Antonio, according to MySanAntonio.com.
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I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying tofigure out the right things to say, and it comes down to twosimple words: THANK YOU!
My family and I want to say THANK YOU to the entireSpurs organization and the people and fans of San Antonio.
THANK YOU to every one of my teammates I’ve played withover my seven years in the NBA.
THANK YOU Pop I’ll always be grateful for my growth underyour guidance.
THANK YOU to the fans! There is not a more passionate ordedicated fan base than what I’ve witnessed in San Antonio.
Through all the ups and downs – I’m glad there were many moreups! – I’ll never forget what we have shared and accomplishedtogether.
While I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I’llalways remember the city and the people of San Antonio!
– Kawhi Leonard
It’s words not weeks in the making, but months, well before the trade took place. No one heard the former NBA MVP candidate speak since March, when he told the media he wanted to finish his career as a Spur. The rumor mill of his potential return followed, with an unclear status, game by game, as a season-ending status was never announced.
Now, it’s the comments some have waited on for three weeks. It’s a thank you letter to everyone around the Spurs, with coach Gregg Popovich specifically listed.
The only part that implied the saga was “Through all the ups and downs…” So, for Spurs fans that hoped for him to address everything that happened in the 2017-18 season, that was not included.
The 2018-19 season is two-and-a-half months away and will see Leonard make his Raptors debut. When the schedule releases Friday, fans will learn when he returns to the AT&T Center, which should be one of the standout games on the calendar.