Leonard said he was not surprised by the fans' reaction.
"No", Leonard said. "Media does a great mind to stir people's minds and to influence them to think a certain way".
DeRozan, who had been disappointed at being traded from Toronto, let his former teammates and the Raptors' management see his displeasure in his first game against them, racking up 19 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Perhaps he feels that the media did not cover that angle enough.
Popovich told reporters he "felt badly about" the reception Leonard received.
Leonard was limited to just nine games with the Spurs in 2017-18 and reportedly asked to be moved because he was unhappy with the way the team handled his rehab from a right quad injury. "So, I felt badly, honestly".
Back in San Antonio for the first time since being traded to the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard was heckled relentlessly from the moment he stepped on the court.
"Kawhi is a high-character guy", Popovich said, via the San Antonio Express-News.
DeRozan was met with "MVP" chants earlier in the game when he went to the line.
Leonard and Danny Green were then dealt from the Spurs to the Raptors for a package centered around DeMar DeRozan in mid-July. The versatile guard made the first triple-double of his career.
The reigning MVP finished with 44 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, while Clint Capela contributed 29 points and 21 rebounds for Houston. DeRozan is the second player in National Basketball Association history with a 20-point triple-double in his first game against a former team, according to Elias, joining Guy Rodgers on October 18, 1966, against the Golden State Warriors.
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