San Diego columnist on Leonard’s character, resilience


San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has lived in San Diego for the last two years while at San Diego State University. So who would know more about Leonard’s game? A local columnist from San Diego.

Tim Sullivan of Sign On San Diego covers sports for the San Diego Union-Tribune, he wrote a great column about how Leonard will be ready, committed, and unafraid of the uncertainty that lies ahead of him as the NBA does not have a set date to start.

Sixteen hours into the NBA’s lockout Friday afternoon, Leonard appeared at Viejas Arena wearing a Spurs T-shirt and an expression of utter insouciance.

Sullivan discusses how Leonard isn’t one to worry or become stressed over unknown situations.

Leonard is not one to waste energy on worry,

If he has picked a poor time to be turning pro, that decision appears to weigh on him like lint on a lion.

“I’m just going to be working out till it’s over,” Leonard said of the lockout. “Hopefully, that’s going to be resolved soon.”

One thing Sullivan points out is Leonard’s calm and quiet sense of self. If you watched Leonard’s introduction videos with the Spurs, he’s a very quiet individual off of the court. Sullivan describes it as a characteristic Leonard has always had.

“We know more about the size of his hands than the contents of his head. He is a man of few words and fewer confidants.

“He doesn’t have voice mail,” SDSU coach Steve Fisher said Friday. “He has no entourage, no posse. You see some of those guys and they have 10 people surrounding them.

There is hope that when the lockout eventually ends, Leonard will get some of his rookie salary according to Sullivan.

Even so, when the lockout ends, Leonard figures to command at least a pro-rated portion of the $1.488 million salary assigned to the 15th overall draft choice by the NBA’s rookie wage scale.

Sullivan goes on to discuss how Leonard will be a perfect fit for the Spurs.

He figures to be a good fit for a high-mileage Spurs team that compiled the best record in the NBA’s Western Conference last season. As a rebounding and defensive demon and a skilled passer, Leonard figures, in time, to flourish.

In college, Leonard wasn’t known as a great shooter, our fellow writer Jake Faunce mentioned this is our latest Spurscast. But, with the attitude and work ethic Leonard has, his former coach feels he will become a consistent NBA shooter.

“Most of the guys I’ve talked with, the scouts that came in, they said, ‘We’re not as worried about his shot as you might think. If he’s a professional — if he’s as committed as you say he is — the shot will get better; that he will cultivate his shot.’

Sullivan makes a point that even when Leonard isn’t shooting shots, he’s still very effective on the court for doing the “dirty work.”

There are plenty of guys who can shoot a basketball, but there are fewer who trade elbows with Leonard’s muscular enthusiasm.

Herein lies an article of faith that requires no leap: Grab the ball and the other team can’t shoot it.


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Paul is an editor, writer and content manager for (@ProjectSpurs) and (@ATLeague_NBA). Paul is also the host of the Spurscast (@TheSpurscast). Paul has been a credentialed media member covering the San Antonio Spurs and NBA since 2011. Paul has been featured on numerous radio, tv, online and podcast shows.

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