When it comes to the National Basketball Association (NBA), there is no room for lazy, untalented men. One of the most competitive sports league in the world gets harder with each passing season with several teams and players hoping to improve on the fortunes of their previous seasons. It is, therefore, a thing of achievement for a player like Kawhi Leonard to join the league and immediately become one of the notable names in a crowd of super talented players.
Kawhi now plays for the Toronto Raptors but over the course of his time in the NBA, he has spent time with the San Antonio Spurs where he played for seven consecutive seasons before he was traded to the Raptors. There is plenty to learn about Kawhi Leonard and his career thus far. Read on to learn more.
Kawhi Leonard Biography
Kawhi Leonard was born on the 29th of June, 1991 to Mark Leonard and Kim Robertson as the youngest child in a family of five. He has four older sisters. Like almost every professional basketball player, Kawhi began his basketball life from high school. He played for Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California where he spent a couple of years before he moved to Martin Luther King High School.
Although there is no record of him winning any team trophies at the high school level, he recorded a personal achievement of winning ‘California Mr. Basketball’ at the end of his time in high school. Prior to getting recruited by a college team, Kawhi Leonard was rated a four-star player by scouting organizations and was considered the 48th best recruit in the country.
When college offers came, Kawhi Leonard went along with San Diego State University where he played for two years before he declared for the NBA Draft in 2011. During his college career, he won two conference tournaments and multiple personal accolades. When the Draft came around, Kawhi was selected by the Indiana Pacers but was immediately traded to the San Antonio Spurs where he played for the first six seasons of his NBA career. During his rookie season, he finished as one of the top five rookies of the year and made the All-Rookie First Team.
Having gotten him through a trade with the Pacers, Kawhi was officially re-signed as a full-fledged Spurs player in the 2012/2013 season, which saw them lose the NBA Finals after seven games against the Miami Heat. Eventually, the team found its Finals glory in the following season as a result of improved performances from Kawhi Leonard which earned him accolades like the All-Defensive Second Team and a rematch with Miami Heat in the NBA finals in which they emerged victorious after five games, with Kawhi Leonard winning NBA Finals MVP.
Career Stats and Injury
Kawhi Leonard would perhaps still be a player for the San Antonio Spurs if not for an injury that sparked a dispute between the athlete and the management of the Texas-based team. During the 2017/2018 season, Kawhi was out of commission for the Spurs due to a right quadriceps injury that made him miss out on the first 27 games of the season. Throughout this season, he suffered additional injuries like a partial tear in his left shoulder and tendinopathy. It was a bizarre fitness season for a player who isn’t usually injured.
As for his career stats, so far has played a combined over 456 games for both San Antonio and the Raptors. He spent six and a half seasons at Spurs, winning the NBA Championship in 2013/2014. He has a regular season record of an average of 16.3 points per game with 6.2 rebounds per game. He played 407 games for Spurs, starting 380 games. In the playoffs, which he has played in six times, he has played in 87 games and started all, averaging 16.5 points per game with 7.3 rebounds per game.
Family: Wife and Uncle – Dennis Robertson
Kawhi Leonard may have the name and financial means to start a traditional family but he hasn’t taken the leap just yet. He is currently in a relationship with Kishele Shipley whom he has been dating since 2011. Though the couple has a child who was born in July 2016, they are not yet married.
When it comes to professional sports, especially ones as lucrative as the NBA, it is difficult for players to find someone they can trust to advise and make decisions that are in their best interest. They say the family is your safe place and for most people, it is true which is why Kawhi Leonard has enlisted his uncle, Dennis Robertson to be his chief advisor. Dennis Robertson is his mother’s brother and has stepped in to play a role following the loss of Kawhi’s father. Dennis is the president of the athlete division of Protocol International.