The San Antonio Spurs kicked off their preseason on Monday night against the Phoenix Suns. Now in full swing, all eyes will be on Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs.
There is no question that San Antonio will be heading into a season like no other, being without No. 21. Over the last couple seasons, head coach Gregg Popovich has high praise for Leonard.
What he has accomplished early in his career is what many dream of. So for San Antonio being his team, it is not far fetched.
Popovich had some strong words to say during training camp about Leonard on the topic of leadership.
Pop’s expectations for Kawhi this season.
— Casey Keirnan (@CaseyKeirnan) September 30, 2016
Popovich is not one to hide his emotions. For him to talk so publicly about one player says alot. As you heard in the video, Popovich compares Leonard’s leadership to Duncan’s.
Leonard has already stated that he is working on becoming a leader and for the Spurs to bring home another title, it will have to come from he and LaMarcus Aldridge to lead the charge.
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Not a vocal leader on the floor, Leonard does not show much emotion while on the floor. This definitely will need to change. A leader has to be one to speak his mind, get in the face of his teammates and not be afraid to hurt ones feelings.
This is true for San Antonio. Leonard is able to be around future Hall of Famers in Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Duncan. Surely he sees their leadership and is soaking every information he can from them.
The hard work that Leonard puts in the offseason has not gone unnoticed. He entered the 2015-16 season with adding a three point shot to his already skilled offensive moves.
Defensively, what more can you ask from the reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year? Leonard does what is ask of him. Make the life of your opponent miserable for 48 minutes.
He has lined up against the prolific scorers in the league. With the amount of energy he spends on the defensive end, he has just enough to provide on the other side of the ball as well.
Leonard has an array of moves that is next to impossible to defend. He, like Duncan, both let their game do the talking. There is not much trash talking involved, just go out, play the game hard, and be the best competitor you can.
For the Spurs, finding the gem in Leonard has certainly paid off thus far.