It’s no secret that Kawhi and the Spurs did not depart on the best of terms. After seven successful seasons with the franchise, the superstar forward forced his way out of the team after drama surfaced regarding the handling of his injury in 2017.
It’s all been history since then, and it seems much of the details regarding his exit are still unknown.
Saturday night marked his first return to San Antonio as a Clipper, and it went about as well as you’d expect.
In the Clips’ dominating 134-109 win, Kawhi dropped 26 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. He was booed every step of the way, as Spurs fans showed their disdain for their former star.
Most interesting, though, was his reaction. After the game, Leonard shared his thoughts on the hostility, claiming that it did not bother him one bit.
“The boos is just love,” Kawhi Leonard said, USA Today’s Mark Medina. “Just taking it as that, I’m here for a reason, to win a ball game. It only can make me better and make our team better with the crowd not being on our side.”
Kawhi also opened up about his dramatic exit from San Antonio.
“It’s a part of the game. It’s the type of player I am, just the way I probably left and how it was portrayed,” Leonard said. “I don’t make no sense of it. I know it’s a game and it’s competitive. When we’re not playing or if I’m walking on the street and I see somebody from San Antonio, they thank me for everything I did. They respect the way I played when I was here.”
Obviously, there is still a lot of tension between Kawhi and the Spurs. Despite all of their success together, the partnership did not end on good terms, and there is clear animosity.
For Kawhi, it’s clear that he has moved on — and maybe there’s more to this whole story than we’ve been told. Regardless, it seems things will always be a bit rough for the 3x All-Star and his former club.