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

NBA trade news Kawhi Leonard joined the Toronto Raptors last month

NBA trade news Kawhi Leonard joined the Toronto Raptors last month

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.

After announcing that he didn't want to play for the Spurs anymore, Leonard was traded alongside Danny Green to the Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poltl, and a protected 2019 first round draft pick.

"The best part about San Antonio, they do right by you", the Spurs forward said, according to Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant.

"THANK YOU Pop I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance", Leonard wrote.

Just days after longtime Spur Tony Parker wrote a goodbye letter to San Antonio and the Spurs family, ex-Spur Kawhi Leonard has done the same.

The relationship between Leonard and his former coach seemed testy at points throughout last season as Leonard continued to sit out despite being medically cleared to play. He will have the ability to do so when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season, unless the Raptors can sell him on a long-term future in Toronto. He was the Finals MVP in 2014 when the Spurs beat the Miami Heat in five games for the title.

"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!" Leonard gives a shoutout to his teammates "over my seven years in the National Basketball Association".

Outside of that, this is a pretty boilerplate "thank you" letter from the reserved forward as he starts his new chapter in Toronto.

He also thanked the city of San Antonio, his former teammates and the fans.

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

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