Leonard shows his native Southern California this summer, and without him it’s not clear whether at the Raptors are even the best team in the East anymore. You can make the argument that Toronto will be jockeying for a top-four spot next season.
Still, it seems like there is no bad blood between Lowry and Leonard. Speaking to the Athletic this week, Lowry said that he was happy for Leonard and his decision, and that he wasn’t surprised Kawhi made the choice to go home.
Via The Athletic:
“I wasn’t surprised,” Lowry said. “He texted me and let me know. I told him, ‘I’m happy for you.’ That’s how I’ve always been. I’m happy for the guys, especially a guy that helped you do something fantastic. Do something great. He’s an unbelievable friend of mine and he’s a good guy. He made the decision to go home and I’m happy with that and I’m happy for him. Truly, I am genuinely happy for him. He gets a chance to be around his family and friends and you’ve got to respect the guy and be happy for him.
“He gave us everything he had,” Lowry continued. “He played his butt off. He helped us win a championship. You’ve got to respect that, right?”
Lowry’s sentiments probably match that of many Raptors fans, particularly that last bit. Leonard did help Toronto grab their one and only NBA championship, and for that he should be forever revered in Ontario. When these two teams meet back in Toronto this year, no doubt people will be standing and cheering for Leonard.
In the meantime, it’s good to hear that Lowry and Leonard are still on good terms after the split.