It’s not hard to love Kawhi Leonard when you see the things that he does on the basketball court. If not for a guy named Steph Curry, Leonard—who is averaging 21 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while often guarding the opposing team’s best player for 32 minutes every game—would probably be the frontrunner for NBA MVP this season. But it is hard to love Leonard away from the court because, well, the guy doesn’t talk. Or tweet. Or do any of the things that normal NBA superstars do. So we don’t know much about him.
But we just got a very (very, very, very, very, very!) small glimpse into who Leonard is thanks to a new Sports Illustrated story written by Lee Jenkins. In the story, Leonard, not surprisingly, doesn’t have a whole lot to say. But Jenkins uncovered all kinds of interesting facts about Leonard. Here are just a few of the things we learned from his excellent piece, which you can read here:
- Leonard told his doctor he planned on going to the NBA when he was just 7. His doctor responded by saying, “Do you know how many kids come in this office and say that?”
- Leonard spent a lot of his childhood parked in front of his TV watching the Michael Jordan documentary, Come Fly With Me.
- Leonard’s favorite subject in school was math and he used to “lose himself in geometry homework."
- Leonard still drives a 1997 Chevy Tahoe that’s nicknamed “Gas Guzzler.” He does it because “it runs and it’s paid off.” (this San Diego Union piece from last year revealed that he also has a Porsche, but he rarely drives it)
- Leonard freaked out after he lost a book of coupons from his sponsor Wingstop last summer and asked for them to give him new ones so that he could get free wings—even though his new $94 million contract had just kicked in.
There’s more to learn about Leonard, too, so we’d recommend you check out Jenkins’ entire piece. It’ll give you a new appreciation for Leonard as both a player and, more importantly, a person.
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[via Sports Illustrated]