Although many were surprised that this game was snubbed from a Christmas spot, the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs won’t be waiting much longer than the holidays to face off. 

The two players will likely get very different receptions, as Kawhi Leonard will return to San Antonio as a Raptor on Jan. 3, while DeMar DeRozan will head back to Scotiabank Arena in a Spurs uniform on Feb. 22.

While DeRozan will undoubtedly be lauded by the Toronto faithful after being traded for Leonard in July, Leonard’s reception will likely be a bit more mixed. The two-time All-NBA forward left things with the Spurs fairly sour, so don’t expect a ton of fanfare for his return.

Kawhi’s face in his mug says all you need to know about how he feels about his return.

Of course, by this point in the season there will be some ongoing playoff races. The Raptors should be right in the thick of the Eastern Conference race, while the Spurs will be trapped fighting for a decent seed in the nightmarish Western Conference. It won’t be an easy task, but the Spurs basically made the postseason without Leonard last year — the addition of DeRozan should go a long way.

Make no mistake, DeRozan will have these games circled on his calendar. His homecoming is going to be epic, but it might still not be as entertaining as Leonard’s as far as arena reactions go.


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