SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Kawhi Leonard blames the media for the rude reception he got from Spurs fans at the AT&T center Thursday night, his first appearance on the court since forcing a trade to Toronto.
He was booed during the pregame warm up. He was booed by the home crowd when he was introduced, but Danny Green, who also was traded to the Raptors, got a standing ovation
“The media does a great job to stir people’s minds and force them to think a certain way, so I already knew how that was going to be,” Leonard told reporters after the Spurs trounced Toronto 125 to 107.
Some in the crowd chanted “traitor” when Leonard was at the free throw line. He played only nine games with the Spurs last season because of a thigh injury. Leonard and the Spurs squabbled over how to handle it.
During a video tribute to Leonard and Green, the crowd booed every time Leonard showed up on the screen, but they cheered for Green.
Click on the link below to see the tribute video that played Thursday night at the AT&T Center.
Welcome back to San Antonio, Danny and Kawhi!
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 4, 2019
Demar DeRozan chalked up his first career triple-double against his former team. He scored 24 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
“It was extremely fun going out there talking mess to my old teammates,” he said.
DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl were sent to San Antonio in exchange for Leonard and Green.