Heading into Game 7, everyone knew how big of a game it was. The biggest in franchise history, most would agree.

Part of the reason was advancing into the East Finals, but another reason was that it was seen as a possible determinant on Kawhi Leonard’s future in Toronto.

If it did have any affect, it was certainly a positive one. Kawhi hit the game-winning buzzer-beater to punch the Raptors’ ticket to Milwaukee. If there were any reason to stay, that’s a big one, but the friendships he’s made along the way are undoubtedly a factor as well.

Kawhi seems to be making genuine connections with his teammates, and their respect and admiration for him comes out as well. No better way to summarize that than to check out an answer teammate Fred VanVleet dished out following the dramatic Game 7 win.



It could be seen as just a comical response, but Raps fans will enjoy the fact that Fred and Kawhi are friends.

This also helps…





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(H/T Josh Lewenberg)