Kawhi Leonard thanks Spurs teammates and fans, Gregg Popovich in letter

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Leonard's first home game as a member of the Toronto Raptors will come on Friday, October 19, when they host the Boston Celtics in a nationally televised contest airing on ESPN.

Despite his success with the franchise, Leonard requested a trade this offseason, paving the way for the Raptors to acquire him in return for DeMar DeRozan.

More than two weeks after being traded to the Raptors, Leonard broke his silence and submitted a letter to the San Antonio Express-News thanking the Spurs organization.

THANK YOU to every one of my teammates I've played with over my seven years in the National Basketball Association.

THANK YOU to the fans!

Just because Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio doesn't mean he isn't grateful for his time as a Spur.

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

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If I hadn't got the runs and we had won, I would have got a totally different feeling - that's a very natural aspect of playing team sport.

However, Leonard is yet to comment since his trade away from San Antonio.

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. - I'll never forget what we shared and accomplished together.

Gay says what separates the Spurs from other organizations and executives - including the subject to his subtext, Raptors president Masai Ujiri - was demonstrated in the circumstances that brought DeRozan to San Antonio.

Leonard demanded a trade this summer away from the only team he has known, after seven mostly brilliant seasons in San Antonio.

The 2018-2019 regular season for the National Basketball Association will tip off October 16, with the Spurs regular season schedule due out this Friday.

However, questions remain about the status of a right leg injury that shelved him for all but nine games last season.

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