This Kawhi Leonard playoff story is legendary
Kawhi Leonard is such a quiet person that insights into his personality are illuminating and fascinating. The guy doesn’t talk much, but when he does, he makes it count. Apparently that was the case in 2019.
Leonard helped lead his Toronto Raptors to the NBA championship as they improbably took down the Golden State Warriors. Even more improbable was their comeback win in the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors fell behind 2-0 in the series before coming back to win four in a row.
After Toronto fell behind 2-0, Kawhi made a specific demand. According to former Raptors assistant coach Phil Handy, the Raptors were preparing to talk about making defensive adjustments. Leonard told them the adjustment would be him guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, and then Leonard walked out of the room.
Here is Handy telling the story on “All the Smoke.”
Phil Handy on when the Raptors went down 0-2 against the Bucks, Kawhi said, “the adjustment is I'm guarding Giannis,” and then walked out of the locker room.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 17, 2021
That is a tremendous story.
When he wants to be, Leonard is a stone-cold killer. His focus, his ice-cold demeanor, his business approach. The guy gets it done. Now the Clippers need him to live back up to that level of greatness he achieved in 2019.
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