Toronto Raptors: 4 things we learned from media day

President Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
President Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
PHOENIX, AZ – JANUARY 21: Kawhi Leonard #2 . NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Kawhi Leonard provides intriguing thoughts in his first media appearance

The expectation going into Leonard’s introductory press conference was to keep expectations realistic because he doesn’t have the most outgoing personality. This is probably the reason why the Raptors didn’t introduce Leonard when the deal was made and it explains why Danny Green was on stage with him.

Luckily for Leonard, he wasn’t dealing with the number of media members participating in the Los Angeles Lakers media day with LeBron James.

If I’m Ujiri, this could be a good chance to show Leonard what he would be getting himself involved in with the LA media. Considering the Toronto media isn’t on that level it might make Leonard feel more comfortable here than in the bright lights whether it’s the Lakers or the Clippers.

But what does Kawhi think about the move to Toronto and the city? Well, he finally gave his thoughts and it wasn’t anything shocking.

"“[I was] excited knowing I’m coming to a great city that loves basketball,” Leonard said of the trade. “Their fans come and show lot of energy.”"

Leonard actually went on to say that he’s a fun guy and made it known that he loves the game of basketball which again isn’t shocking but he finally started to show some of his personality with a laugh when he was trying to find Doug Smith of the Toronto Star in the crowd.

That wasn’t the intriguing part of his press conference though, because there were the questions about his future and the circumstances surrounding his departure from San Antonio. While Kawhi didn’t want to talk about his free agent status, he did give his thoughts on what motivates him and said that he has an open mind.

"“I want to play here,” said Leonard. “As long as I have a jersey on, I want to play basketball. I came here with an open mind. I want to do great things …. By winning games, that’s how you get star-calibre players who want to come here.”"

When he mentions winning being the reason why star-calibre players will join teams it should mean a great deal for Toronto because of how the past few seasons have gone. Whenever people especially the U.S. media talk about the Raptors it’s always about the inability to win when it matters and it’s apparent that Leonard knows it too.

He said that his goal is to win a championship and he knows first hand what it takes to do it so hopefully, it rubs off on the rest of the team. All in all, Raptors fans should be pleased with what Leonard had to say even if he didn’t say he wasn’t going to leave.