Nick Nurse has nothing however love for Kawhi Leonard.
Talking Saturday on the Las Vegas Summer season League, the Raptors coach admitted he is disillusioned to see his star participant go however understands why he determined to depart Toronto after serving to the workforce win its first championship.
“I think you can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home,” Nurse mentioned, through ESPN.com. “That’s what he texted me today. ‘I’m going home.’ And I just said, ‘You’ve changed a lot of lives, man, by what you’ve accomplished in Toronto. Mine especially.’ And thanked him for what he did, and we’ll look to the future, and we’ll look to (win a title) again.”
Leonard was dealt from the Spurs to the Raptors final 12 months and rapidly made an enduring impression in Toronto. Nevertheless, the Southern California native opted out of the ultimate 12 months of his contract with the Raptors and have become an unrestricted free agent earlier than signing with the Clippers this weekend. However Nurse knew the choice was coming.
“I’m not totally surprised. I think we all knew that (Leonard leaving) was a situation that could happen,” Nurse mentioned. “He delivered big time, played his heart out for us. We certainly are going to relish this championship for a long time. And we’re going to stop celebrating it pretty soon. Not quite yet, but then we’ll get back to work.”
After a whirlwind of a 12 months, Nurse will cherish the recollections he made with Leonard throughout Toronto’s title run and is already looking forward to a possible repeat – if they will get previous him.
“It’s certainly disappointing,” Nurse mentioned. “I think, first of all, he’s a great person. He was unbelievably fun to coach, just locked in and loaded and ready to go. People would ask me, ‘What was it like coaching him?’ And I always said the best thing was I got to stand there on the courtside and watch this guy go to work. That was something that I’ll never forget. Now we got to go kick his a-.”