Kawhi Leonard Breaks Silence, (Kind Of) Addresses Spurs Drama In Statement

Kawhi Leonard Breaks Silence, (Kind Of) Addresses Spurs Drama In Statement

He says he and his family (re: Uncle Dennis) want to thank the Spurs organization and "the people and fans of San Antonio".

Leonard didn't directly mention Toronto or the Raptors, but did say that he was "looking forward to the next chapter in my career".

In his letter, Leonard praised former coach Gregg Popovich, saying he will "always be grateful for my growth under your guidance".

The statement is his first public address since the deal that sent him and Danny Green to Toronto for a package centred around guard DeMar DeRozan. Leonard gives a shoutout to his teammates "over my seven years in the National Basketball Association".

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

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Though some are more heartfelt and less robotic, thank-you letters by traded players rarely say much significantly. "I'll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together", Leonard wrote.

Adding to this point, Gay, a former Raptor himself for all of 51 games, makes a direct comparison between the kind of honesty he's seen from the Spurs' organization and how Masai Ujiri and the Raptors run things. Leonard, an unrestricted free agent next summer, reportedly wasn't pleased with the move and many expect him to bolt for the Los Angeles Lakers, joining LeBron James.

That's why, if his new San Antonio Spurs teammate Rudy Gay is to be believed, the Raptors' franchise scoring leader should be excited about going to his new team.

The 2014 Finals MVP played only nine games last season, after being sidelined with a nagging right quad injury.

While last season was one to forget for Leonard, his time in San Antonio will be better defined by his 2013-14 campaign, when he helped the Spurs capture their fifth National Basketball Association title while being named MVP of the Finals.