NBA 2K had some fun with San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard and his newfound smiling.
If you haven’t paid attention to NBA Twitter for the past week, San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard took a trip to China for promotional work. He most recently toured The Great Wall of China.
In the midst of this, Leonard smiled — a lot. It was all over the Spurs’ Twitter account and Manu Ginobili even trolled him for the uncharacteristic facial expression. Leonard rarely cracked a smile in his six seasons in San Antonio.
Throughout August, 2K Sports unveiled player ratings and other details for the upcoming NBA 2K18. They’ve done this through social media, beginning with the top-tier players and working down. Leonard’s overall rating came out earlier this month, but 2K Sports decided to give him a second one: a mark for “Smiling Kawhi.” He received a 98 overall.
— NBA 2K 2K18 (@NBA2K) August 22, 2017
That smile must mean plenty, right? It should break the attribute chart at 100 overall. That goes beyond the shooting, awareness, on-ball defending, ball-handling, and shot-blocking abilities of Leonard’s. Just give him the top overall rating in NBA 2K18 then.
Aside from a Smiling Kawhi, the Spurs recently received a bigger role in NBA 2K18. The 2004-05 team, who won that season’s NBA championship, will be a classic team in the upcoming video game. That means prime Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili will all be available to play with. Robert Horry, Bruce Bowen, and Brent Barry were among the other players on this title-winning squad.
Once the 2017-18 season starts, Leonard’s smile will disappear as the Spurs take to the court. It may have already, if his tour of China ended. If they win the 2018 NBA Finals in June, maybe it returns.