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Kawhi Leonard gets middle-finger symbol engraved on championship ring, receives MVP chants from Raptors fans

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) stretches for the ball as Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) stretches for the ball as Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO – Kawhi Leonard received his 2019 NBA championship ring Wednesday night in Toronto amid cheers and “MVP” chants from Raptors fans.

It was a far cry from the reception he’s received from fans in San Antonio in two games as a visitor.

RELATED: Kawhi on Spurs fans booing: ‘Felt like normal away game;’ Paul George doesn’t ‘understand’ reception

Leonard’s former teammates, along with coaches and team executives, gathered in a circle at center court before tip-off to greet their former star, who signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency.

Leonard embraced each player in turn before guard Kyle Lowry presented him with his ring. After slipping it on, Leonard raised his arms to the crowd and waved.

“The ride was fun,” Leonard said of his season in Toronto. “I had a great time last year with the coaching staff, the front office, and the players. It was a great experience. Obviously it was different playing here for a whole country, they’re all going for this one team.”

That has not been the case in San Antonio where Leonard’s reception has been as icy as the Toronto weather.

In both contests, Leonard was booed every time he touched the ball and his team lost both games.

Leonard’s Clippers won this time around and afterward, he was asked about the ring ceremony.

“It was great, it was a great moment,” Leonard said. “They did a great job putting it together, having all the players out there that won with me.”

“It was a special season for us, for me, for the whole city and country,” Leonard added. “I’m glad we were able to win. It was a blessing.”

Leonard was also asked about the specifics of the ring and revealed what was inscribed inside.

“I have a logo in there. It’s on my middle finger so it reminds me to put it on my middle finger,” Leonard said. “I have like an ‘F you’ symbol in there.”

Fans have speculated if there is more to the symbol. The Athletic’s Michael Lee attempted to clear up any confusion by tweeting there is no hidden message.

It was Leonard’s second championship. He won his first in 2014 with the Spurs.

That ring, according to Lee, was sized for his index finger.


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