He is the third youngest player to be named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals and just one of six players whom was not an All-Star during the same year. Being mentioned as the future of the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leonard has already made a name for himself at the rightful age of 22.
During the Finals, Leonard completely took control of the final three games of the series averaging just under 24 points per game. His aggression on the offensive side was something that many Spurs fans were hoping to see. And for him, scoring is something that he hopes to do more of next season for San Antonio, as he told Jeff Zillgitt from USA Today.
“The next step is learning how to carry a team and carry the full load scoring wise,” Leonard said. “I know people are going to put the main focus on stopping me so I need to learn how to make my teammates better by passing and creating opportunities for them.”
With his output in the Finals comes more exposure for the young Leonard. With that, teams are going to zero in on him and trying to stop him. Zillgitt goes on and speaks on another player whom was in the same situation as Leonard, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George.
Leonard is a humble guy. He does not let stardom get to him. After his offensive explosion in game three, surely Miami took notice that he could possibly be one that would cause them trouble. He proved it.
“Coming in, I wanted to be a great player, and right now at the beginning of my career, I’m showing some slight sunshine that I can be the player I want,” Leonard said. “I just have to move forward and keep working on my game and getting better.”
He is able to play with three future Hall of Famers whom he has studied and learned things from. What also makes it great, he is being coached by, arguably, the best there is – Gregg Popovich.
Everything that he did on the floor not only during the Finals, but the postseason in general, made his team drive. Each night he was up against the opponents best player, being given the task of stopping them. On the floor you can see that he is a worker, he takes pride in what is asked of him.
Now the summer is here and the Spurs will be celebrating their championship on Wednesday during the River Parade. As the article goes on, Leonard knows what is to come and that is talks of a contract extension this summer.
“I’m just playing,” Leonard said. “The Spurs are a great organization. I’m leaving that to my agent, and I’m sure they’ll come out with a great understanding and a deal. I’m not focused on that at all.”
Leonard could be a restricted free agent for the 2014-2015 season if he and the San Antonio Spurs don’t work out an extension between July 1st and October 31st.
Leonard is the face of this franchise. Endorsements will start rolling in for him as well. He is still making his transition from Nike to Jordan Brand. After game 5, he did mention to Zillgitt that he got a congratulatory text from “his Airness,” Michael Jordan.