Kawahi Leonard is an American professional basketball player who plays as a small forward for the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. He is currently playing his 10th season and till now he has been a two time NBA champion, a five time-All-star and a member of three All-NBA first teams. His extraordinary wingspan and hand size, along with his mix of speed, athleticism, and intellect, have all contributed to his rise to one of the NBA's top perimeter defenders. Due to his extraordinary ball-hawking skills, he has earned the nickname "The Klaw" among NBA fans.
Kawhi was born on June 29, 1991 in Los Angeles, California. He attended Canyon Springs High School but transferred to Martin Luther King High School where he played his junior and senior years. He led his team to a 30-3 record during his senior season.
For his college career, Leonard averaged 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Aztecs as a freshman at San Diego State University in 2009–10.Under his leadership, the team finished with a 25-9 record and captured the Mountain West Conference (MWC) tournament championship. As a result, the Aztecs were granted an automatic entry to the NCAA tournament.
San Diego State once again qualified for the NCAA tournament, led by Leonard. The Aztecs made it to the Sweet 16 this time, but Connecticut defeated them to become the ultimate national champions. Leonard left San Diego State to enter the 2011 NBA draft after being named to the Second Team All-America.
Kawhi was known more for his defensive prowess but scouts knew he had a great work ethic and would be able to develop his offensive game with time. The Indiana Pacers selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft but was traded to the San Antonio Spurs the same day. His rookie year was a success and he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
He developed his offensive game steadily and became a reliable spot up shooter. His Spurs team made the finals two seasons running, with them winning the 2014 NBA Championship. Kawhi picked up the finals MVP, averaging 17.8 points on 61% shooting to overhaul the Miami Heat’s ‘Big Three’. He also made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, which would be the first of many.
His immense defense earned the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award two years running. He also made his first NBA All-Star and All-NBA Teams, finishing the 2015-2016 season as the runner up for the MVP award.
During the 2017 NBA Western Conference Finals, he injured his ankle. This injury would keep him out for the majority of the 2017-2018 season after which he was traded to the Toronto Raptors. During his only season in Toronto, Kawhi led the Raptors to the 2019 NBA Championship, picking up his second finals MVP award. He cemented himself as an icon in Toronto.
At the end of the 2018-2019 season, Kawhi became an unrestricted free agent and signed with his hometown team, the LA Clippers. He teamed up with Paul George, making the Clippers a contender. The 2019-2020 season ended in disappointment with the Clippers crashing out in the second round of the playoffs, leading to the dismissal of Doc Rivers.
His second season with Clippers ended in heartbreak as Kawhi tore his ACL during the second round of the playoffs. The Clippers made it to the conference finals but couldn’t make it past the Suns without their talisman. Kawhi opted out of his contract and resigned with the team for $176 million dollars.
After remaining inactive for the entire season, clippers were unable to qualify for the playoffs after losing to both the MinnesotaTimberwolves and the New orleans pelicans.On October 3, 2022, Leonard made his comeback from injury, defeating the Trail Blazers 102-97 in a preseason game. Leonard finished with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Despite being selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 15th overall choice in the 2011 NBA Draft, Leonard was then traded that same night to the San Antonio Spurs for George Hill along with the rights to Erazem Lorbek and Davis Bertans. Moreover, He had a successful first season and was selected for the NBA All-Rookie First Team.He steadily improved his offensive skills and honed his spot-up shooting. His Spurs team reached the NBA Finals two seasons in a row before taking home the 2014 title.
In 2014 the finals were held between the Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs won their sixth title overall with a 4-1 victory over the Heat. They outperformed the Heat spectacularly, resulting in the NBA Finals' second-largest average point differential in history. With a scoring average of 23.7 points per game and a field goal percentage of 68.5%, Kawhi Leonard was named Finals MVP.
In 2019 the finals were held between theGolden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors: The Toronto Raptors won the Finals for the first time in team history by defeating the Golden State Warriors 4-2. Kawhi Leonard, who averaged 28.5 points per game, won his second Finals MVP award of his career for his outstanding performance.
Leonard had a season in 2018–19 that could only be described as extraordinary. By leading the Raptors to the very top of the sport and bringing them their first NBA title in franchise history.
Finals MVP -
In his career, Leonard has twice been named Finals MVP. His first victory came in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs, and his most recent win came in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors.
DPOY + All-star-MVP
Kawhi Leonard has won two MVP awards for the Finals.Along with that he also earned Defensive Player of the Year twice in his career (in 2015 and 2016). He made history in his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers by adding All-Star Game MVP to his resume.
Michael Jordan is the only other player to have ever earned Finals MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year.
The majority of the time leading the Raptors to at least 30 points in a single postseason
In the course of 24 games, he scored 732 points in total. With that, he moved up to third place all-time for most postseason points scored. Only LeBron (748) and Jordan (759) are ahead of him, with Allen Iverson (725) and Hakeem Olajuwon (748) rounding out the top five (723). LeBron and Leonard are the only two active players among the top 10.
Leonard won his first MVP in 2014 when he was in spurs. He received the award partly for his defense of LeBron James. Kawhi Leonard won the title of Finals MVP with a scoring average of 23.7 points per game and a field goal percentage of 68.5%.
And, he got his second MVP award in the year 2109 when he was with the Raptors. He won his second Finals MVP title of his career for his excellent performance, scoring 28.5 points on average per game.
Kawahi agreed to a 5-year, $90 million contract with the Spurs in 2015. Kawhi has managed to amass a net worth of $80 million over his nine year career. His current NBA Contract will pay him $39,344,900 through the 2021-2022 season. Leonard's endorsement contracts bring in about $5.5 million annually, He left the Jordan Brand in 2018 to sign with New Balance( the shoe and apparel company). He also has deals with Cargo Jet Airways and Honey.He is also included on their list of the top 50 paid athletes in the world for 2021.
One of the NBA's top defenders, small forwardKawhi Leonard, has a $176 million, four-year contract with a fourth-year player option.Back in 2019 Kawhi Leonard signed a $21 million contract with the LA Clippers during the 2019 free agency period.Then, He agreed to a three-year, $103 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, which included a $36 million third-year player option. He chose to forego the third year of his contract in the summer of 2021 and signed a four-year, $176 million contract with the Clippers that included a player option for the fourth year for $48.7 million.
According to Forbes, Kawhi Leonard will make $45.4 million in 2022 from both his on- and off-court activities. and earns $42.5 million in compensation. Leonard left the Jordan Brand in 2018 to sign with New Balance, and his endorsement deals earn in roughly $5.5 million yearly ( the shoe and apparel company). He also has agreements with Honey and Cargo Jet Airways. Klaw is the second highest paid Los Angeles Clippers player and the seventh highest paid NBA player overall.
Kawhi was born in Los Angeles California to Mark Leonard and Kim Robertson. He has four sisters and is the youngest child in the family. He and his girlfriend, Kishele Shipley, have two children together.Leonard has a reputation for being reserved and silent. He avoids talking about his personal life and rarely conducts interviews.
Kawhi was born to Mark Leonard and Kim Robertson in Los Angeles, California. On January 18, 2008, his father was shot and killed at the Compton car wash he ran. Leonard persisted on participating the following night, and he sobbed after losing. The killer was still at large as of 2022. Stevie Johnson's cousin, Leonard, plays wide receiver in American football.
No doubt Leonard is one of the best players, especially a perimeter defender in his era. Although he believes in keeping his personal life private,He has two children With his longtime partner Kishele Shipley. Kawhi and Kishele met at San Diego State University, where Leonard was gradually creating a name for himself in basketball, though it's unknown if they are married or not. Kaliyah, their first child, was born in 2016, when Leonard was playing for the Spurs. They welcomed their second child in April 2019, although little is known about the boy. Other than the fact that the boy was born in Canada.
The Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard enjoys expressing himself through many significant body arts. Leonard also had a few tattoos done.Like on his right shoulder he has written ‘Fear God not them', Tombstone with angel wings and also had a cross , cloudy basketball jersey with a halo on the right bicep, and Mermaid tattoo on his right arm.