When the Toronto Raptors officially introduced Kawhi Leonard today, he made it clear he’s trying to distance himself from his reputation as the oddball who mysteriously missed most of last season with the Spurs.
When asked if he had regrets about what went wrong in San Antonio, which included him reportedly hiding from Spurs executives when they came to check on him, he said he had “no regrets,” and that he wants to focus on the present. He said:
“I want to play here,” Leonard said. “I came in with an open mind. I want to do great things ... focus on this year. If you’re looking toward the future you’re going to trip over the present.”
Leonard, who played only nine games with the Spurs before sitting out the rest of the year due to injury and other undisclosed reasons, was traded to the Raptors in July. He assured everyone he was fun:
“I’m a fun guy. Obviously I love the game of basketball. I mean, there’s just more questions you’ll have to ask me. I can’t give you a spiel about me.”
Asked his reaction to coming to Toronto, Leonard said, “Excited. I’m coming to a great city that loves basketball.”
Leonard also did his best impression of a normal human laughing.
If you close your eyes and listen to this laugh, it sounds like sobs.