Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Kawhi Leonard: 'Pretty sure I'll be in a Spurs jersey' for life
LOS ANGELES — If the day eventually comes when this is a normal night for Kawhi Leonard, all will be well between him and the San Antonio Spurs.
The ball coming his way on offense, this time to the tune of a career-high 28 points (on 10-for-18 shooting) in this 89-85 win Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers that seemed so improbable until he took over. His defense as dominant as ever, never more than the late steal of Chris Paul that epitomized the uniqueness of his two-way talents.
Yes, it's safe to say, whatever ripple effect may have existed after the Spurs chose not to give Leonard an extension by the Oct. 31 deadline was nowhere to be found.
It was not only a case of Leonard proving his worth, but also how Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made it abundantly clear that he fully plans on following through on his long-held claim that the 23-year-old is the future of the franchise. As Popovich shared afterward, San Antonio had never relied on the 2014 NBA Finals MVP quite like this.
"We ran more plays for him tonight than I ever have in his career," Popovich said afterward. "That's the plan. We've got to start giving him the ball. You know, he's the future. I don't think Timmy (Duncan) and Manu (Ginobili) are going to play any more than maybe six or seven more years. So we've got to let somebody else do something."