Leonard with San Diego State in 2009
|No. 2 – San Antonio Spurs|
June 29, 1991|
Los Angeles, Caifornia
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
(Moreno Valley, California)
Martin Luther King
|College||San Diego State (2009–2011)|
|NBA draft||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15th overall|
|Selected by the Indiana Pacers|
|2011–present||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Kawhi Anthony Leonard (//, born June 29, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played two seasons of college basketball for San Diego State University before being selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. He was then traded to San Antonio on draft night. Leonard won an NBA championship with the Spurs in 2014 and was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, having won in 2015 and 2016.
High school career
Leonard attended Canyon Springs High School before transferring to Martin Luther King High School his junior year. In Leonard's senior year, he and Tony Snell led the King High Wolves to a 30–3 record. Leonard averaged 22.6 points, 13.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.0 blocks per game that year and won California Mr. Basketball.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Leonard was listed as the No. 8 small forward and the No. 48 player in the nation in 2009.
Freshman season (2009–2010)
As a freshman at San Diego State, Leonard averaged 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Leonard helped lead the Aztecs to a 25–9 record and the Mountain West Conference (MWC) tournament title. SDSU received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament but lost to Tennessee 62–59 in the first round as Leonard recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds. Leonard led the MWC in rebounding and was named MWC freshman of the year, first team All-MWC, and the 2010 MWC Tournament MVP.
Sophomore season (2010–2011)
In Leonard's sophomore season, he averaged 15.7 points and 10.4 rebounds as the Aztecs finished with a 34–3 record and won back-to-back conference tournament championships. Leonard and San Diego State would once again make the NCAA tournament. This time, SDSU would advance to the Sweet 16 where they lost to eventual national champion UConn. Leonard was named to the Second Team All-America and would forgo his final two seasons at San Diego State to enter the 2011 NBA draft.
|2009–10||San Diego State||34||33||31.3||.455||.205||.726||9.9||1.9||1.4||.7||12.7|
|2010–11||San Diego State||36||36||32.6||.444||.291||.759||10.6||2.5||1.4||.7||15.5|
College awards and honors
- Consensus second team All-American (2011)
- NABC All-American Third Team (2011)
- 2× All-Mountain West First Team (2010–2011)
- 2× All-Mountain West All-Tournament Team (2010–2011)
- All-Mountain West Defensive Team (2011)
- Mountain West Tournament MVP (2010)
- Mountain West Freshman of the Year (2010)
San Antonio Spurs (2011–present)
2011–12 season: Rookie year
Leonard was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers but was traded that night to the San Antonio Spurs along with the rights to Erazem Lorbek and Davis Bertans in exchange for George Hill. On December 10, 2011, following the conclusion of the NBA lockout, he signed a multi-year deal with the Spurs.
Leonard and teammate Tiago Splitter were selected to play in the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge as members of Team Chuck. Although he suited up for the event, he did not play due to a calf strain. After starter Richard Jefferson was traded to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson, Leonard was promoted to the starting small forward position while Jackson served as his backup.
In the summer of 2012, Leonard was among several NBA up-and-comers chosen to play for the 2012 USA men's basketball Select Team. They trained with the Olympic team which featured Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and others.
2012–13 season: First Finals appearance
Leonard was selected to play for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge where he was once again drafted to Team Chuck. He recorded 20 points and 7 rebounds as Team Chuck defeated Team Shaq for the second straight year 163–135.
2013–14 season: NBA championship and Finals MVP
On April 6, 2014, Leonard scored a season-high 26 points in the Spurs' 112–92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. He finished the season averaging 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals while shooting 52.2% from the field. Leonard helped the Spurs to a 62–20 record – the number one seed in the NBA – and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the first time.
The Spurs and the Miami Heat met once again in the NBA Finals. On June 10, 2014, in Game 3 of the series, Leonard scored a then career-high 29 points in a 111–92 victory. San Antonio went on to win the series 4–1. Leonard averaged 17.8 points on 61% shooting and was named NBA Finals MVP. He was the third-youngest player to win the award (22 years and 351 days), behind only Magic Johnson—who won in both 1980 (20 years and 278 days) and 1982 (22 years and 298 days). Leonard was also only the sixth player, and the first since Chauncey Billups in 2004, to win Finals MVP in a season in which they were not an All-Star.
2014–15 season: Defensive Player of the Year
After missing the final six preseason games and the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks due to an infection in his right eye caused by conjunctivitis, Leonard made his season debut against the Phoenix Suns on October 31 despite still suffering from blurry vision. He continued to play through the blurred vision and on November 10, 2014, he scored a season-high 26 points in the Spurs' 89–85 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Following a three-game stint on the sidelines between December 17 and December 20, Leonard had an injection in his injured right hand on December 22 and was ruled out indefinitely. He returned to action on January 16, 2015 after missing 15 games, recording 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals to lead the Spurs to a 110–96 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
On April 5, Leonard recorded 26 points and a career-high 7 steals in a 107–92 win over the Golden State Warriors. On April 23, Leonard was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win both NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP. The next day, he scored a playoff career-high 32 points in a Game 3 first-round playoff series victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Spurs went on to lose the series in seven games.
2015–16 season: First All-Star selection
On July 16, 2015, Leonard re-signed with the Spurs to a five-year, $90 million contract. On October 28, he scored a then career-high 32 points in a 112–106 season opening loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. On December 3, he scored 27 points and made a career-high seven three-pointers in a 103–83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. On January 21, 2016, he was named as a starter to the Western Conference team for the 2016 All-Star Game, earning his first All-Star selection and became the sixth Spurs player in franchise history to be selected as an All-Star starter, joining George Gervin, Larry Kenon, Alvin Robertson, David Robinson and Tim Duncan.
On March 23, 2016, Leonard had another 32-point outing in a 112–88 win over the Miami Heat, helping the Spurs extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 45 games (dating to 2014–15 season). On April 2, he set a new career high with 33 points in a 102–95 win over the Toronto Raptors, helping the Spurs set a franchise record with their 64th victory. The Spurs topped their 63-win season in 2005–06 and extended their NBA-record home winning streak to start the season to 39 games. Leonard helped the Spurs finish second in the Western Conference with a 67–15 record, and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors for a second straight year, becoming the first non-center to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons since Dennis Rodman in 1989–90 and 1990–91. Additionally, he finished runner-up in the MVP voting behind Stephen Curry.
In Game 3 of the Spurs' first-round playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies, Leonard helped the Spurs go up 3–0 with a 32-point performance, tying his playoff career high. After sweeping the Grizzlies, the Spurs moved on to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round. In Game 3 of the series against the Thunder, Leonard helped the Spurs go up 2–1 with 31 points and 11 rebounds. However, the Spurs went on to lose the next three games, bowing out of the playoffs with a 4–2 defeat.
In the Spurs' season opener on October 25, 2016, Leonard recorded a career-high 35 points and five steals in a 129–100 win over the Golden State Warriors. Two days later, he recorded 30 points and five steals in a 102–94 win over the Sacramento Kings, becoming the first player to have 65 points and 10 steals in the first two games of a season since 1979.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Leonard won an NBA championship|
|Led the league|
On January 18, 2008, Leonard's father, Mark, was shot and killed at the Compton car wash he owned. As of 2014, the murderer had still not been found, and the family had stopped asking authorities for updates.
- National Basketball Association portal
- Leung, Diamond (April 15, 2011). "SDSU loses Kawhi Leonard and his recruiter". ESPN. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Kawhi Leonard – Yahoo! Sports
- Player Bio GoAztecs.com
- "Kawhi Leonard Stats". ESPN. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Zeigler, Mark (March 12, 2011). "Aztecs beat BYU to win MWC Tournament". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on June 20, 2014.
- Goodman, Jeff (March 7, 2011). "Goodman's 2010–11 All-America teams". Fox Sports. Fox Sports Interactive Media. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
- Greg Beacham (March 25, 2011). "Kemba Walker leads UConn past San Diego State". Associated Press. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "NBA Draft trades: Pacers deal Leonard to San Antonio for George Hill". SportingNews.com. June 23, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "Spurs Sign Kawhi Leonard". NBA.com. December 10, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "All-Star notebook: Calf strain keeps Leonard out of Rising Stars game". MySanAntonio.com. February 24, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving named Kia Rookie of the Year". NBA.com. May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard Named to NBA's All-Rookie First Team". NBA.com. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- Deveney, Sean (September 2, 2012). "Gregg Popovich: Kawhi Leonard will "be the face of the Spurs"". SportingNews.com. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- "Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair Chosen to 2012 USA Men's Select Team". NBA.com. May 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Spurs Exercise Team Options on Cory Joseph and Kawhi Leonard". NBA.com. October 26, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- "Kawhi Leonard Selected by Team Chuck for BBVA Rising Stars Challenge". NBA.com. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- "Team Shaq at Team Chuck". NBA.com. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Notebook: Spurs 112, Grizzlies 92
- Kawhi Leonard Named to 2013–14 NBA All-Defensive Second Team
- Notebook: Spurs 111, Heat 92
- Price, Tom (June 16, 2014). "Notebook: Spurs 104, Heat 87". NBA.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014.
- "Kawhi Leonard named Finals MVP". ESPN. Associated Press. June 16, 2014. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014.
- "MVP Leonard does it all". ESPN. June 16, 2014. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014.
- Scott, Nate (June 16, 2014). "Kawhi Leonard is third youngest NBA Finals MVP ever". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014.
- Martin, Brian (June 16, 2014). "Game 5 By The Numbers". NBA.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2014.
- "Kawhi Leonard available for Spurs". ESPN. October 30, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- "Leonard scores 26, Spurs rally past Clippers 89-85". NBA.com. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- "Kawhi Leonard gets hand injection". ESPN. December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
- "Leonard has 20 in return, powers Spurs past Blazers". NBA.com. January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Leonard has 26, Spurs snap Warriors 12-game streak, 107-92
- "Kawhi Leonard wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year". suntimes.com. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Leonard leads Spurs to 100-73 win over Clippers and 2-1 lead
- "Spurs Re-Sign Kawhi Leonard". NBA.com. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- "Sources: Kawhi Leonard agrees to five-year, $90M deal to remain with Spurs". ESPN. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- Donovan wins NBA coaching debut, Thunder beat Spurs 112-106
- Leonard scores 27 as Spurs defeat Grizzlies 103-83
- "KAWHI LEONARD SELECTED AS STARTER FOR THE 2016 NBA ALL-STAR GAME". NBA.com. January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Leonard matches career high with 32, Spurs beat Heat 112-88". NBA.com. March 23, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Aldridge, Leonard lead Spurs to franchise record 64th win". NBA.com. April 2, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "KAWHI LEONARD WINS 2015-16 KIA NBA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD". NBA.com. April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
- "Warriors' Curry wins second straight Kia MVP award". NBA.com. May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "Spurs take 3-0 series lead, beating ragtag Grizzlies 96-87". NBA.com. April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
- "Leonard's 31 help Spurs beat Thunder 100-96, take 2-1 lead". NBA.com. May 6, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
- "Leonard, Spurs spoil Durant's Warriors debut with blowout". ESPN.com. October 25, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- "Leonard, Spurs spoil Kings arena opening with 102-94 win". ESPN.com. October 27, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Feulner, Johnny (October 28, 2016). "Kawhi Leonard, Spurs Topple Kings to Remain Undefeated". SportsJournal.ca. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
- Henne, Ricky (August 3, 2015). "The Lightning Report". chargers.com. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
- McCarney, Dan (August 18, 2014). "Kawhi Leonard, a man after Matt Bonner's heart". mysanantonio.com. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
- Eric Sondheimer (March 8, 2008). "Shooting death of his father drives Riverside King's Leonard". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Father's memory helps drive Aztecs star Fox Sports, January 20, 2011
- Kawhi Leonard: Basketball, Family, Honor CraveOnline.com, March 11, 2011
- DimeMag.com, June 13, 2014
- THE SPURS' FUTURE IS NOW
- NBA star Kawhi Leonard is not your average man with $94 million in the bank
- Kawhi Leonard expecting birth of first child this summer
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kawhi Leonard.|