Spurs fans mercilessly booing Kawhi Leonard in his return to San Antonio on Thursday night wasn't all that surprising. But if you ask Isaiah Thomas, that doesn't make it right.
Leonard heard a chorus of boos and other nasty chants in his first game back at AT&T Center since the Spurs traded him to the Toronto Raptors last summer.
Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green get introduced in San Antonio as members of the Raptors. pic.twitter.com/enErTW5ztu— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 4, 2019
Spurs fans start "traitor" chant while Kawhi shoots FT's 😳 pic.twitter.com/NTy0zh9ry8— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 4, 2019
The jeers apparently struck a nerve with Thomas, who launched a passionate defense of Leonard on Twitter.
That man won a championship for y’all and u boo him?? That ain’t it!— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 4, 2019
Take the “fan” hat off for once and put the “player” hat on and see if you will still boo a player...— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 4, 2019
Let us come to your job and BOO you for 2hrs for you looking out for YOURSELF when teams time after time do what’s best for THEM!— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 4, 2019
The Denver Nuggets guard does have experience with old team reunions, having switched clubs four times over the last three seasons. The former Celtics guard's return to Boston went much better than Leonard's trip to San Antonio, though: C's fans gave Thomas a standing ovation during Boston's Jan. 3, 2018 matchup with his Cleveland Cavaliers.
Leonard's situation obviously is a little different, as many Spurs fans feel he quit on the team last season after playing just nine games due to injury and not joining his teammates on the bench during the playoffs. (The Spurs got the last laugh Thursday, beating Leonard's Raptors 125-107.)
To Thomas' point, though, Leonard also was an immensely successful player during his seven seasons in San Antonio and played a key role in the team's 2014 championship, earning NBA Finals MVP honors.
Ironically, Thomas was tweeting on the same night as the Nuggets' game against the Sacramento Kings, where he began his NBA career. The veteran guard didn't participate, though, as he's still recovering from a hip injury that's kept him out all season.
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