Kawhi Leonard pens letter thanking Spurs, Gregg Popovich

Shawn Marion Kawhi Leonard

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

But the 27-year-old didn't mention the Raptors in the letter, writing only that he was "looking forward to the next chapter in my career".

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.

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"I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance", Leonard wrote about Popovich.

Though some are more heartfelt and less robotic, thank-you letters by traded players rarely say much significantly. "I'll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio!".

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

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"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.

Adding to this point, Gay, a former Raptor himself for all of 51 games, makes a direct comparison between the kind of honesty he's seen from the Spurs' organization and how Masai Ujiri and the Raptors run things. Leonard, who was craving Los Angeles, reportedly was not happy to be shipped out of the country, and his letter did not address the Raptors.

Spurs top draft pick Lonnie Walker IV teamed up with his new Spurs teammate Derrick White on Wednesday off the court for the first time to take 60 deserving children from the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio on a back-to-school shopping spree at Academy Sports and Outdoors.

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Leonard, if healthy, would give Toronto one of the best two-way players in the National Basketball Association and a true bonafide superstar.

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