The commercial ends with the ultimate basketball hypothetical. So we asked the man himself, the star of Jordan Brand’s latest spot, for an answer.
Could Kawhi can get buckets on Kawhi?
“I’ll let everyone else weigh on that and draw their own conclusion,” says Kawhi Leonard, in his typically understated fashion.
The Spurs guard, one of the finalists for the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards that will be handed out Monday at the inaugural NBA Awards, isn't one to brag and boast about his game. We know that by now. A man of few words, the Jordan spot appropriately pitted two high school debaters passionately making their case for why Leonard's offensive and defensive games are superior to one another. It debuted on Complex Sports's social media channels Sunday morning and Leonard exclusively answered our questions about "The Great Debate" commercial.
“I like the entire spot," says Leonard. "It’s a great feeling to know my hard work is paying off and that fans around the world are recognizing that and debating about my style of play.”
Leonard, along with Russell Westbrook, hopes to become the first Jordan athlete to win the MVP since M.J. himself back in 1998 and Leonard calls the brand's commercial touting his impressive resume (two straight DPOY awards, and possibly a third) "an honor."
"I’ve been a fan of Jordan Brand and looked up to M.J. since I was a kid, so to have the brand supporting my MVP and DPOY nominations with this video is an honor," says Leonard.
A member of the All-NBA First Team for the second straight season, Leonard doesn't really need much promotion in order to recognize his brilliance. But when one of the top two-way players in the game, an offensive and defensive "genius," according to the spot, speaks as softly as Leonard does, it helps when your people can do the broadcasting for you. Because when we asked Leonard what it takes to become a genius on both ends of the floor, Kawhi gave us a typical Kawhi answer.
"Hard work. I work hard every day to improve my game on both sides of the ball," Leonard says. "To be good at anything comes with dedication and the motivation to continue to improve."
Absolutely. But could Kawhi get buckets on Kawhi? He's perfectly fine letting the debate rage.