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Kawhi Leonard


ABOUT
Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four

Full NameKawhi Anthony Leonard

BornJune 29, 1991

Height6 ft 7 in

NationalityAmerican

RoleSmall Forward

ABOUT

Kawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player who plays as a small forward for the LA Clippers. He is arguably a top five player in the league and one of the best two-way players. A combination of speed, athleticism, and intelligence along with his freakish wingspan and hand size has helped him become one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. The NBA community have christened him as ‘The Klaw’ due to his immense ball-hawking abilities.



Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers


Early Life


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, he played for the San Diego State Aztecs for two seasons. Subsequently, he declared for the 2011 NBA Draft.


NBA Journey


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.


NBA Accolades


Award/AccoladeYearTeam
NBA Champion2014, 2019San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors
NBA Finals MVP2014, 2019San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors
NBA Defensive Player of the Year2015, 2016San Antonio Spurs
NBA Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP2020Los Angeles Clippers
NBA All-Star5 times (2016,2017, 2019-2021)San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers
All-NBA First Team3 times (2016, 2017, 2021)San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers
All-NBA Second Team2019, 2020Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers
NBA All-Defensive Second Team3 times (2015-2017)San Antonio Spurs
NBA All-Defensive Second Team4 times (2014, 2019-2021)San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers
NBA All-Rookie First Team2012San Antonio Spurs
NBA Steals Leader2015San Antonio Spurs


Net Worth


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. He left the Jordan Brand in 2018 to sign with New Balance. He also has deals with Cargo Jet Airways and Honey.


Family


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. 




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