Raptors forward Leonard named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player

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OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard joined elite company on Thursday by winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award for the second time after his team’s championship victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) celebrate with the Larry O’Brien Trophy after the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Leonard, who also won the award in 2014 while playing for the San Antonio Spurs, joins basketball greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win Finals MVP with two different franchises.

“This is what I play basketball for,” said Leonard “This is what I work out for.”

Playing in his first season with Toronto, Leonard averaged 28.5 points during the best-of-seven Finals, leading Canada’s only NBA