Kawhi Leonard is the only robot to reach superstar status. Before getting drafted, though, neither “robot” nor “superstar” was the case.
Leonard was the 15th selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, the same class that saw Jan Vesely, Bismack Biyombo and both Morris Twins picked before him. All three were grabbed at different spots, but Markieff and Marcus went 13th and 14th, respectively, with Markieff going to the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix has done a great job in recent years of mucking up the organization, and this is another notch to add to their belt.
An excerpt from a 2015 article about the Suns and Leonard has surfaced, and it’s amazing. At one point, courtesy of Paul Coro, Kawhi was a human just like you and I. He had emotions. More importantly, his body reacted the same way some of ours do when faced with certain situations. When the Suns sat down with the San Diego State standout, they noted parts about his game in addition to how he acted when interviewed:
“But with a front office conducting its first draft in Phoenix, then-General Manager Lance Blanks’ staff did not have Leonard in the discussion. Part of the Suns’ knock on Leonard, beyond his perimeter shot, was how nervously he acted in a draft combine interview, when he sweated through his suit.”
Kawhi Leonard got nervous. He got nervous to the point he sweated through a suit. This is the same guy who barely perspires playing both ends of the basketball court. Now, you no longer have to be worried about getting clammy hands when going out with a hot girl. If Kawhi can sweat, so can we. Of course, no one foresaw Leonard’s incredible rise to where he is today. He’s the NBA’s terminator and the heir to the greatest power forward ever, but it’s always fun to go back and look at old takes.
Also Read: Manu Ginobili, at 39, Was The Difference in a Playoff Game
So what if he acted weirdly? Players get paid to play basketball, not give interviews. Sure, it’s in their contract that they need to speak to the media, but, as far as I know, no part of that interaction impacts the dollars they earn.
Sometimes, fate gets in the way. Not only did the Spurs luck out again, but Markieff is playing better basketball with the Washington Wizards than he ever did with Phoenix.
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