Because Pop knew who was about to reign the Western Conference.
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And, damn it, was he right.
Leonard was known, yes, for those massive hands, an extremely helpful asset on on-ball defense; but his combination of length and quickness, especially laterally, had heavy potential that general manager R.C. Buford could foresee stopping the budding superstar.
And, damn it, he, too, was right.
Now, Leonard not only defends Durant, but also LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, you name it.
Do you think Pop still misses Hill?