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. On one side, there was [Kawhi Leonard] that was trying to get out, get to a bigger market, and they were totally being up front with him, and then they trade him for a guy [DeMar DeRozan] where, that organization wasn't being up front with him at all.
New NBA jerseys for newly acquired Toronto Raptors player Kawhi Leonard hang in the Real Sports Apparel store at the Scotiabank Arena, in Toronto, Friday July 20, 2018.
He says he and his family (re: Uncle Dennis) want to thank the Spurs organization and "the people and fans of San Antonio".
"THANK YOU Pop I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance", Leonard wrote. That year, 22-year-old Leonard became the youngest NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
THANK YOU to the fans!
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. "While I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I'll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio".
He also thanked the city of San Antonio, his former teammates and the fans.
"Through ups and downs - glad there were many more ups! - I'll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together", Leonard wrote.
Leonard leaves the Spurs with career averages of 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.
Leonard, through his camp, publicly announced that Los Angeles is his preferred destination with the Lakers as his priority.