Kawhi Leonard writes a thank you letter to Spurs, former teammates and fans
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard broke his silence on Thursday, releasing a statement thanking fans in San Antonio and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Leonard was traded to Toronto last month in a deal that sent him and Danny Green to the Raptors, with guard DeMar DeRozan, center Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick going back to San Antonio.
There was speculation that Leonard would not play for Toronto, as his preference was to head to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers.
"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!" Leonard wrote.
Leonard went on to thank his family, Popovich, and the fans.
"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," he said. While I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I'll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio."
The 2014 Finals MVP played only nine games last season, after being sidelined with a nagging right quad injury.
Leonard has one year and a player option left on his current deal and is set to make $20.1 million in 2018–19.
The new–look Raptors will host the Boston Celtics in its season opener on Oct. 19.