HoopsHype Kawhi Leonard rumors
Alex Kennedy: Does Kawhi remember Duncan's first title? "I don't think I watched the Finals when I was 7 years old. Probably just busy playing kid games." Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA
But as he walked away from the championship podium, the only one in the building surprised he was named the Finals MVP in a landslide vote, he said everything you need to know about who he is and what's inside him with a hug. A deep, soulful hug with his mother, Kim Robertson. "I've got tears in my eyes, I'm so proud," Robertson said. "I'm very, very emotional. It's not about Kawhi winning the MVP or not. I'm just so glad we won." ESPN.com
"Me and my brother were in the car," Robertson said. "Kawhi was in the back and he just says, 'My dad is dead.' "I really didn't see Kawhi suffer from it. I wanted him to. I would say, 'Kawhi, you OK? You OK?' But I think he just kept it in. "I was kind of scared. You know how young men, they lose their father, who is a big figure in their life. It might turn them to do things bad. But Kawhi's always been strong. He's a good kid. He wants to get better and better." ESPN.com
Kawhi doesn't talk much about it, to anyone. Not even his mother. But sometimes you honor someone best with actions, rather than words. "From the moment it happened, he wanted to make his dad proud," Robertson said. "He wanted to keep on moving and moving and moving. "Kawhi just wants to get better and better and better. He does not want to be a superstar. He does not want to be in the limelight. He just wants to be good at what he loves to do." ESPN.com
Was there someone who saw tape on Kawhi and said, ‘We have to have this guy?’” RC Buford: “We don’t do this individually. Except for (Sam) Presti picking Parker, this has been a group thing. George was important to our group. From a roster-management standpoint, we felt it was the right thing to do. But we’d be foolish to say we knew Kawhi would be who he is today.” San Antonio Express-News
Hill (drafted 26th in 2008 by the Spurs) spent his first three seasons in San Antonio and carved out a significant role. He played well enough that he was seen as a possible replacement for Parker, yet then found himself serving a much different purpose when he netted the Spurs this two-way terror from San Diego State in Leonard. As Buford shared, there was serious concern that stemmed from Popovich on down. "It felt like we were going to get our ass chewed because we just traded the coach's favorite player," Buford said with a laugh. "Tim, Tony and Manu, those guys had a really strong alignment with George. They'd been through a lot together, and there was concern for them, not only that they were losing a great friend but also a great teammate. So the trust that that group allowed us to make that move — because we don't do that without including them. That trust was vital to them saying, 'OK, we don't like this, but we'll frickin' see.' " USA Today Sports
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