Video: Toronto Mayor Asks Raptors Fans to Not Hassle Kawhi About Free Agency

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

In a rather unique approach, Toronto Mayor John Tory has asked Raptors fans to give Kawhi Leonard space to make a decision about his future.

In a press conference, Tory, along with Raptors fan Nav Bhatia, pleaded with people in the city to let the NBA Finals MVP enjoy his downtime as he waits for free agency to begin.

Global News Toronto @globalnewsto

John Tory and #Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia ask Toronto fans to give Kawhi Leonard space https://t.co/RPSdbjTBPm

As part of their plan to give Leonard space, Tory and Bhatia created the KawhiUShouldStay.com website. It allows fans to sign a petition and leave the three-time All-Star a message without harassing him in public. 

Leonard appears to be savoring the sights and sounds of Toronto in the wake of the Raptors' victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. He praised many aspects of Canada during the team's championship parade Monday.

"It was a good experience, experiencing Mother Nature, all four seasons," he told reporters. "Man, it was a great experience. Everybody off the court was great. The fans, just meeting people in Canada. It's been fun."

Home fans greeted Leonard with a standing ovation when he showed up at the Rogers Centre to watch the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

If it wasn't apparent enough that Toronto wanted Leonard back, a request from the mayor for citizens to let the superstar enjoy his time off says it all.