Kawhi Leonard and his longtime girlfriend, Kishele Shipley, attended a San Diego Padres game this past week.
The Padres are a disappointing 54-56 on the year and sit second-to-last in the NL West.
Understandably, because fans of the team haven’t had much to cheer about, Leonard being in attendance turned into a bigger story than it probably would have otherwise been.
Photos and videos of Leonard and Shipley quickly went viral.
— MLB (@MLB) August 5, 2023
Kawhi Leonard enjoying his time at Dodgers vs. Padres 😁
— Ball Don’t Lie (@Balldontlie) August 5, 2023
Given Leonard’s status among NBA fans, reactions to him being in attendance at the game poured in immediately.
Folks took to social media to weigh in.
Of course he’s a Padres fan
— Fuzzy McDonkey (@FuzzyMcdonkey) August 5, 2023
He might get injured clapping
— Marco Alquiros (@fbmarcoalq) August 5, 2023
— Good Vibes Baseball (@GDVibesBaseball) August 5, 2023
He didn’t get hurt while making his way to the seat did he?
— Jordan is G.O.A.T. (@ChiMizzouLA) August 5, 2023
the Clippers and Padres have a lot of things in common
— eduardo ﾒ𝟶 (@mookieplzhomer) August 5, 2023
Big picture, baseball notwithstanding, Leonard is coming off an immensely disappointing campaign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
He played inconsistently throughout the regular season in hopes that the load management would pay dividends when the playoffs rolled around.
Leonard ultimately got hurt almost immediately after the postseason commenced, leading to another failed Clippers run.
In the aftermath, L.A. has shown an unwillingness to offer Leonard a long-term extension and Clippers head coach Ty Lue has expressed in pretty blunt terms what he expects out of his star next year.
So far in the offseason Leonard has found himself in the headlines for everything from his peculiar choice of outfit to a teammate’s wedding to his feelings on the Clippers adding James Harden.
Quite the offseason for the Denver Broncos. https://t.co/SVIOIC5bjk
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 5, 2023
The 2023-24 NBA season will be a huge one for Leonard legacy-wise.
If he gets healthy, bounces back and leads the Clippers deep into the playoffs – a lot of his recent disappointments will be forgotten.
Should Leonard fail again, though – it will likely do irreparable damage to his legacy and place in NBA lore.