Kawhi Leonard is known for being a somewhat reserved character. Although the 29-year-old has on occasion offered certain glimpses into his personality over the years, generally he is recognized for being stoic and kind of indifferent.
That changed this week, when the Los Angeles Clippers star offered some insight on an NBA legend that he had immense respect for.
When asked about who he looked up to, most expected Leonard to respond with someone like “Michael Jordan” or “Kobe Bryant.”
Leonard, however, opted to go in a different direction.
His pick? Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson.
“Just seeing him with that team with the Sixers, bringing them to the Finals & carrying him pretty much by himself. That just resonated to me how hard he played & his will not to give up. Obviously, his offense speaks for itself.”
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 11, 2021
“Just his gameplay,” Leonard said. “How hard he played…He played both ends. Just seeing that team with the Sixers, bringing them to the finals and carrying them by himself. That just resonated with me. His will not to give up.”
It’s easy to understand why Leonard holds Iverson in such high esteem. When he retired in 2010 he did so as a former league MVP, 11-time All-Star, 4-time league scoring champ and seven-time All-NBA selection. Obviously he had some issues. The story of his 2030 Trust Fund is a thing of legend at this point. But as a player – Iverson was one of a kind.
The hits keep coming. https://t.co/tAgVSV1zRh
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 11, 2021
When Iverson named his top-five NBA players of all time, Leonard was omitted from the list, so it’s nice to see that hasn’t impacted the Clippers star’s perception of his idol.
Leonard is an interesting character. Any time he offers insight into his personality, whether it’s through his incredible childhood photos, or dressing up as a Power Ranger, or giving his analysis as a player – it’s always a treat.