Once Kawhi Leonard steps onto the court, his laid-back personality fades away and the game’s most relentless defender emerges.
Nobody wants to see the two-time Defensive Player of the Year matching up against them. His lock-down defense gives even the game’s best scorers headaches, and his offensive repertoire rivals anyone’s.
The 25-year-old’s scoring average has improved each season. These days, he puts up 25 points a night while also being tasked with shutting down the opposing team’s best player.
His versatility is a scary thought for opponents, but the fact that he’s still getting better is even scarier. The sky is the limit for Kawhi Leonard, and his rise has only just begun.
Kawhi’s Challenge To You
Kawhi Leonard is finishing up one of the best two-way seasons in league history. The defensive stalwart is easily one of the best defenders in the league, and in recent years he has become the focal point of San Antonio’s offense.
In a game where offense is king, Kawhi Leonard is the rare superstar who works on his defensive abilities as much as his offensive abilities. The mentality to dominate both ends of the court stems from Leonard’s experience as a football player in his youth.
When you play football, you play both ends of the field. I played both ways, so it translated to the basketball court.
Leonard has strived to dominate offensively and defensively ever since. Even as a young kid, Leonard quickly realized his exceptionally high skill level. Not content with being good, Leonard constantly challenged himself to be great by playing against top-tier opponents.
“I always wanted to guard the best player,” Leonard says.
Leonard knew playing against guys who were better than him would help him improve in the long run, even if it meant taking a few losses along the way. Plus, despite Leonard’s quiet, calm demeanor, he couldn’t resist trying to live up to the challenge.
It’s about the competitive nature in you.
Kawhi Leonard is challenging Eastbay readers to follow in his footsteps by seeking out top-level competition this year. No matter who you are or where you are from, Leonard knows first-hand the benefits that come along with pushing yourself.
Let us know how you’re taking on Kawhi’s challenge in the comment section below or by hitting us up on Twitter and Instagram. Who knows? You just might end up as the next great two-way player.