Kawhi thanks SA in 1st statement since trade

"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 word: THANK YOU!"

It's interesting to note that while Leonard said he's "looking forward to the next chapter" of his career, he didn't specifically mention his new city, or his new team.

In a trade that sent shockwaves throughout the National Basketball Association, the Raptors acquired Leonard and three-point shooter Danny Green last month, while San Antonio received all-star DeMar DeRozan, backup centre Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick.

It did address Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who had a last-ditch meeting with Leonard in June to try to persuade his superstar to stay.

He says he and his family (re: Uncle Dennis) want to thank the Spurs organization and "the people and fans of San Antonio". That year, 22-year-old Leonard became the youngest NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).

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

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

Though some are more heartfelt and less robotic, thank-you letters by traded players rarely say much significantly. He only appeared in nine games last season before sitting out the entire campaign due to a quad injury.

"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.

Leonard leaves the Spurs with career averages of 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

Leonard, through his camp, publicly announced that Los Angeles is his preferred destination with the Lakers as his priority.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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