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Kawhi Leonard thanks Spurs in first statement since trade to Raptors

10 August 2018

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard broke his silence on Thursday, releasing a statement thanking fans in San Antonio and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

Rudy Gay re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs this offseason after having a successful return from a torn Achilles. THANK YOU Pop I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance.

My family and I want to say THANK YOU to the entire Spurs organization and the people and fans of San Antonio.

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

Leonard was effusive in his praise of the Spurs' fans, who watched him blossom into one of the game's premier two-way players over the first seven seasons of his career.

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.

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THANK YOU to the fans!

"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. He appeared in nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18, last playing on January 13 before sitting out the rest of the season with a quad injury. He was named NBA Finals MVP in 2014 after leading the Spurs to a championship but his relationship with the team deteriorated last season to the point where he asked for a trade.

In Thursday morning's episode of 'Get Up!' on ESPN, Jay Williams says he's not buying it. Williams believes that Leonard's camp has to do some image fix for their star who was cast as the villain ever since he declined to play for the Spurs despite getting clearance from the medical staff.

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Kawhi Leonard thanks Spurs in first statement since trade to Raptors