Kawhi Leonard came to this city in a move some people didn’t like. DeMar Derozan put his heart and soul into the Toronto Raptors franchise but was dealt in the deal that is now known as the greatest trade in Raptors history.
It started with the laugh, but it really started when he stepped on the court wearing Raptors red for the first time. The Raptors found instant success. It’s almost like Kyle Lowry and Leonard had been playing together for years. There were no hiccups, no growing pains.
The city of Toronto instantly fell in love with Leonard’s low key way of doing things. Not being flashy, not arguing with referees, just getting the job done. Leonard did indeed get the job done, he led the Raptors to a 58-24 record, good for second in the NBA.
But we had no idea what was coming next…
Kawhi had an all-time performance in the postseason. Up there with Lebron’s and Jordan’s best years. After easily handling the Magic we met the 76ers, and well, that only led the most iconic moment in Raptors history.
After a rough start against Milwaukee, the Raptors won four straight making their way to the first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. With Leonard averaging 29.25PPG in those final four games against the Bucks.
While the rest of the team stepped up against Golden State, Leonard remained consistently great, averaging 28.5PPG onroute to winning the championship in six games.
But now that’s over. Kawhi has chosen to return home to LA and join the Clippers and there is nothing wrong with that.
We may have lost Kawhi but we can never lose the 2019 championship. That’s here forever. No matter if the Raptors decide to rebuild this year with Lowry, Ibaka, and Gasol all on expiring deals we will always have that banner hanging in the rafters of the Scotiabank Arena.
2019, a year we will never forget.
Kawhi Leonard, a Raptor we will never forget.
Thank you Kawhi, for everything. Forever loved by the city of Toronto and forever loved by the country of Canada.
Gone but never forgotten.