Kawhi Leonard releases first statement since trade to Raptors

Kawhi Leonard. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Kawhi Leonard has finally broken the silence.

Leonard released his first statement since the blockbuster trade that sent DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs and brought Leonard to the Toronto Raptors.

The 27-year-old addressed the letter to San Antonio, thanking the city, his teammates, head coach Gregg Popovich and the fans. While he didn’t mention Toronto directly, he did state that he’s “looking forward to the next chapter in [his] career”.

The full statement reads:

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! My family and I want to say THANK YOU to the entire Spurs organization and the people and fans of San Antonio. THANK YOU to every one of my teammates I’ve played with over my seven years in the NBA. THANK YOU Pop I’ll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance. THANK YOU to the fans! There is not a more passionate or dedicated fan base than what I’ve witnessed in San Antonio. Through all the ups and downs — I’m glad there were many more ups! — I’ll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together. While I’m Looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I’ll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio! THANK YOU! — Kawhi Leonard

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.