Spurs post awkward birthday message for Kawhi Leonard and fans inevitably react

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors - Game One

Kawhi Leonard's trade request has rivalled LeBron James' free agency as the biggest NBA story of the offseason.

The two-time All-Star recently informed the San Antonio Spurs of his desire to leave and end his seven-year stint with the team.

His relationship with the organisation seems to be irreparable after disagreements over his quad injury that kept him sidelined for the majority of the season.

At the point of no return

The small forward played just nine games and the saga surrounding his health lingered over the Spurs throughout the campaign.

It was clear that there was tension between the player and members of the team all year and it came as no surprise when the news broke that he wants out.

San Antonio has seemingly given up hope of reconciling with their star player and reportedly opened trade talks with multiple teams this week, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

Taking all of this into account, it's fair to say that Spurs fans are not too fond of Leonard at this particular time.

So you can imagine the reaction when the team's official Twitter account chose to post an awkward happy birthday message to him when he turned 27 on Friday.

They clearly meant well and it was a nice gesture but the timing of the tweet was completely off.

The Spurs opened themselves up for social media ridicule as Kawhi is in the process of attempting to force a move away and preferably join the Lakers.

Their fans responded with some great posts on Twitter:

San Antonio become the latest team to suffer from an awkward social media moment, following in the footsteps of the Toronto Raptors.

After firing head coach Dwane Casey following another humiliating playoff exit at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, they congratulated him for being named as a finalist for the Coach of the Year award.

Again, they meant well but it's all about timing and how it will go down.

To be fair to the Spurs, Leonard is still their player and they may still harbour slight hopes that he could change his mind and stay.

But from the outside looking in, that seems practically impossible with each day that passes.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four

Some reports have even suggested that the team is "ready to move on" and are keen to secure the best possible deal for him.

If the two-time Defensive Player of the Year made one wish on his birthday, it would've been to seal a move back to his hometown of Los Angeles and play for the Lakers.

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

News Now - Sport News