Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

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

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

While Leonard rarely speaks publicly on his intentions, the belief among most pundits is that he wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

In this January 5 file photo, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard handles a ball before a game against the Phoenix Suns.

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard released his first statement since being part of a blockbuster trade that ended his seven-year stint with the San Antonio Spurs - a run that held astronomical potential yet ended abruptly and even left a bad taste in the mouth.

"San Antonio, 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!"

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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.

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

Kawhi Leonard hasn't spoken publicly in months, as he last met with the media prior to his self-imposed exile from the Spurs to NY to rehab his quad injury. He was the Finals MVP in 2014 when the Spurs beat the Miami Heat in five games for the title. That doesn't happen much in the National Basketball Association, to be honest with you.

"The best part about San Antonio, they do right by you", the Spurs forward said, according to Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant. There is not a more passionate or dedicated fan base than what I've witnessed in San Antonio. "I'll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together", Leonard wrote.

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