Sports: ‘Paparazzi’ Kawhi Leonard fans asked to back off - PressFrom - Canada
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Sports‘Paparazzi’ Kawhi Leonard fans asked to back off

11:30  23 june  2019
11:30  23 june  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Did Kawhi Leonard tip hand about leaving Raptors in free agency?

Did Kawhi Leonard tip hand about leaving Raptors in free agency? The way Kawhi Leonard phrased an answer during an interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt after winning the NBA championship on Thursday night has some wondering whether he tipped his hand about his free agency plans. 

During a press conference Saturday, Tory and Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia asked for Raptors fans and people in the city to let Leonard enjoy his down time. "I want to put a request in the media right now because our superstar, Kawhi Leonard , he's going out in the city and he's being, like, paparazzi

Kawhi Anthony Leonard (/kəˈwaɪ/, born June 29, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

‘Paparazzi’ Kawhi Leonard fans asked to back off© MARK BLINCH Raptors star Kawhi Leonard and his girlfriend Kishele Shipley take in a Blue Jays game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday at the Rogers Centre.

“Paparazzi” Raptors fans obsessed with keeping star player Kawhi Leonard in Toronto following the team’s historic NBA championship have a new way to lobby him to stay.

A website — kawhiushouldstay.com — has been set up for fans to send “their heartfelt messages and sign petitions to Kawhi” without harassing him on the streets, Mayor John Tory announced Saturday.

“The Toronto way says we do it quietly but in a determined way,” said Tory. “He should be given his privacy for now while he decides. … This a much better way for thousands upon thousands of people to ask him to stay.”

Kawhi Leonard likely to choose between Raptors, Clippers

Kawhi Leonard likely to choose between Raptors, Clippers There are sure to be more than a handful of teams that try to sign Kawhi Leonard when the NBA Finals MVP becomes a free agent this summer, but the sweepstakes may already be down to just two. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “Get Up” Tuesday morning that the Los Angeles Lakers have very little chance of signing Leonard, both because of their financial situation and because Leonard does not want to be the third guy behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Rather, Wojnarowski notes that Leonard is “focused” on the Clippers, and he will likely choose between them and the Toronto Raptors. "Kawhi Leonard's focus [is] on Los Angeles, but it's the Clippers not the Lakers.

Kawhi Leonard was instrumental in helping the Raptors win their first NBA title in franchise history and now it is time for the city to pay him back – by Bhatia said that while most fans are just excited to see Leonard in person, some have played the role of “ paparazzi ” and have “not given him the space he

Tory asked that fans show their support for Leonard in a “Toronto way” by signing a newly created petition calling for the athlete to stay in the city. Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard celebrates during the 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship parade in Toronto, on Monday, June 17, 2019. Back to top.

Following Monday’s championship parade, Kawhi remained in the city and was photographed visiting Niagara Falls with his family. He was also spotted by fans at a chain restaurant and buying boxes at Home Depot.

The website is being operated by Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, who likened Leonard’s online tracking to fans “acting like the paparazzi.” It is also backed by Mohamad Fakih, president of Paramount Fine Foods, said Tory’s spokesperson Don Peat.

The website features a petition where fans can fill in their names, emails and messages to Leonard beginning with an automated script that says “Kawhi, I want you to stay because ...”

It shows a goal of a one million signatures. More than 3,200 fans had signed it within hours of it going live on Saturday morning.

Kawhi Leonard is drinking alcohol and eating desserts after winning title

Kawhi Leonard is drinking alcohol and eating desserts after winning title Kawhi Leonard is drinking alcohol and eating desserts after winning title

Poll: How should Spurs fans welcome Kawhi Leonard back to San Antonio? Kawhi returns as Spurs host Raptors: Preview, start time, and more. Leonard was filmed walking up the stairs of a plane, and he was struggling. The context was Leonard had just come back from a rehab workout, but still.

in asking fans to respect Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard ahead of the star’s pending free-agency During a press conference Saturday, Tory and Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia asked for Raptors superstar, Kawhi Leonard , he’s going out in the city and he’s being, like, paparazzi , he’s being harassed.

Tory told reporters Leonard will be given all the fan mails and petitions.

“Fans are very excited, we have never been in this zone before,” said Bhatia, a businessman who hasn’t missed a Raptors home game for 24 years. “But we’re just trying to tell fans to give him space … shop where he wants to go, eat where he wants to go and go where he wants to go.”

Leonard officially becomes a free agent at 6 p.m. on June 30.

Temur Durrani is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star's radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @temurdur

Emma Teitel: Kawhi Leonard turned Toronto into a paparazzi town.
At any given moment, there are ten miniature Kawhi Leonards shooting hoops at the basketball courts in my east end Toronto park — aka kids wearing Toronto Raptors jerseys or t-shirts affixed with the name and number of their hero. And at any given moment, they will rejoice or perhaps more likely, they will despair. Because at any given moment they’ll find out if Kawhi Leonard—the mysterious guy behind the legendary buzzer beater and our city’s first championship title—will stay or if he’ll go. This isn’t your average free agency waiting game that interests the sports obsessed and no one else.

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