Leonard is known for playing with no emotions on the court, but he knows how to get the job done. He grew up having a tough childhood when he was a teenager. His father passed when he was 16 years old, and the killer still has not been found.
Kawhi Leonard has transformed into one of the best in the NBA
When Leonard came into the league in 2011, he was a player that had a lot of talent but needed to adjust to playing in the NBA. That wasn’t a problem for Leonard at all. In his third season, Leonard starting to become a top player on the San Antonio Spurs team that featured Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. The Spurs advanced to the 2014 NBA Finals and took on the Miami Heat. During the finals, Leonard had the task of guarding LeBron James, and he did a good job of defending the NBA star. Leonard’s performance helped the Spurs defeat the Heat, and he was named Finals MVP.
After his finals’ performance, people started to take notice of the player the Leonard was becoming. He started to take his offensive game to the next level and became one of the Spurs’ top scorers during his final years with the team. Leonard spent his first seven seasons with the Spurs and averaged 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists during his career there. He was also named to two All-Star teams and won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2015 and 2016 as a member of the Spurs.
During the 2018-19 season, Leonard was a part of the Toronto Raptors. As a member of the team, he helped the Raptors become championship contenders. Leonard had the best season of his career with the Raptors averaging 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He led the Raptors to their first NBA championship in franchise history as they defeated the Golden State Warriors. Leonard received his second Finals MVP award. After one season with Toronto, he decided to head west and join the Los Angeles Clippers. Before the 2019-20 season was halted due to the coronavirus, Leonard was having another successful career. He was named MVP of the All-Star game, and he averaged 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and five assists in 51 games.
The tragic day when Kawhi Leonard lost his father
In 2008, Mark Leonard was shot and killed while working at a Compton, California car wash. That day Kawhi had a basketball game, and according to ESPN, Mark was trying to get off early so he could watch his son’s game.
Kawhi did not found out that his father died until a day after. It was a tough day for Kawhi, and after the game, he broke down in tears while he fell into his mother’s arms. Though that happened almost 12 years ago, Kawhi still remembers his father and how much he supported him. Kawhi grew up in a tough Compton area. The 6-foot-7 forward would become a star in the NBA despite growing up in a rough area.
The person who shot Kawhi Leonard’s father is still out there
So far, 12 years have passed, and there’s still no answer to who killed Leonard’s father. Leonard’s stepmother was at the car wash when she witnessed her husband being killed. In an article from ABC 7, Jacquelyne Leonard described the incident leading to her husband’s death.
“He had on a grey sweatshirt and this hood over his head and all these dark clothes, but you couldn’t see him, and he had something across his face. You could only see eyes,” she said. “I ran outside and laid on Mark’s back and was telling him, ‘Hey, you’ve got to make it,'” Jacquelyne said. “‘What about me? What about the baby, the kids?'” For right now, the death of Leonard’s father is still a mystery.