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

Shawn Marion Kawhi Leonard

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Leonard released a statement thanking the city of San Antonio and the Spurs organization, bidding adieu to the place he spent the first seven seasons of his career.

Gay says what separates the Spurs from other organizations and executives - including the subject to his subtext, Raptors president Masai Ujiri - was demonstrated in the circumstances that brought DeRozan to San Antonio.

Kawhi Leonard has spoken!

DeRozan was traded along with Jakob Pöltl and a protected 2019 first round draft pick to the Spurs in exchange for Leonard and Danny Green. Leonard, who was craving Los Angeles, reportedly was not happy to be shipped out of the country, and his letter did not address the Raptors.

Leonard goes on to thank his teammates, his friends, his family, Gregg Popovich and, of course, the fans.

Spurs doctors had cleared Leonard to return to play last season, but he sought second opinions and did not return, making his health a question mark following the trade.

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DeRozan, a lifelong Raptor, was dealt to the Spurs in July as part of a package for the disgruntled Leonard.

"I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it all comes down to two simple words: THANK YOU", the statement says. That doesn't happen much in the National Basketball Association, to be honest with you.

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!"

"It's cool to see all the kids excited to hang out with us, and I'm excited to hang out with them", White said.

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