Toronto Raptors’ Masai Ujiri reveals his continued great relationship with Kawhi
Anything is possible, right?
So how do you feel about the possibility of Kawhi Leonard making his way back to the Toronto Raptors?
Sounds crazy, yeah? But not impossible! Not after Raptors president Masai Ujiri revealed in a recent Twitter interview with TNT’s Ernie Johnson on the official NBA Twitter account,that he shares a much deeper relationship with Leonard than a lot of people assume.
This has got certain sports analysts speculating about the possibility of Ujiri using his personal relationship with Leonard, to influence the star’s return to the Toronto Raptors.
These speculations were brought up by Steven Loung of Sportsnet, who noted that midway through Johnson’s interview with the Raptors president, Ujiri’s son, Masai Jr., momentarily made an appearance which prompted Johnson to teasingly ask, “So this is the guy who’s gonna marry Kawhi Leonard’s daughter someday, correct?”
This question led Ujirito make a revelation about his personal relationship with Leonard.
“By the way, [Masai Jr.] was on FaceTime with [Leonard’s daughter] yesterday,” Ujiri said laughing. “I’m serious. I have a great relationship with Kawhi, but my wife and Kishele [Shipley, Leonard’s girlfriend] have a really, really close relationship and [Masai Jr.] talks to [Leonard’s daughter] every now and then.” He said, quoted on Sportsnet.
Ujiri explained that despite the duo’s separate busy basketball lifestyles, he and Leonard have still managed to build a build and maintain a solid relationship over the years.
“I always say that the two hardest things in our business is trading a player and then when a player leaves,” said Ujiri. “It’s hard on both sides. Like when a player’s traded it’s hard on the player’s side and when a player leaves it’s hard on that side.
“I’ve experienced all of it and it’s been with wonderful people. And it’s sometimes put a restraint on relationships as we saw with De Mar and – people don’t know – but even with Rudy Gay because I was close to Rudy. You’re trying to preach a culture of good, of trust, of being with people. And then you have to make these decisions.
“With Kawhi, we just built a relationship where we trusted each other and that friendship has evolved even bigger as he left and I’m proud of that. I support him with everything he does as a human being and with his family and you move on. You’ve just got to move on and go on to the next.”
Now it’s been speculated that’d Leonard might become a free agent by next year and who knows he might come to Toronto for a change of scenery, thanks to thebond he still shares with Ujiri and his family.
How is possible that Leonard who’s only been with his Los Angeles Clippers team for two seasons, to leave his home state – especially after how much effort he put in to get there in the first place?Could this just be the speculations of sports fans who are bored and have nothing else to watch while the season is on a prolonged unexpected break?Granted, Leonard’s contract figures are to expire in the summer of 2021 and who knows what can happen from now until then.