HoopsHype Kawhi Leonard rumors

June 14, 2014 Updates
June 12, 2014 Updates

Whenever Engelland works with a player, it starts with a conversation: How comfortable do you feel with your mechanics? Are there areas where you think you can improve? Where do you need help? “It’s hard,” Engelland said. “To improve and change mechanics that you’ve had for 18, 19, 20 years? It takes times to rewire those things.” Leonard was an easy sell, Engelland said. The Spurs acquired him in June 2011, and Engelland already knew from scouting him that his release point could use some refinement. Leonard had a tendency to bring the ball too far behind his head, and it reminded Engelland of the way Richard Jefferson shot the ball when he came to the Spurs in 2009. After working with Engelland for a season, and reconfiguring his release point, Jefferson shot a career-best 44 percent from 3-point range during the 2010-11 season. New York Times

June 11, 2014 Updates

Jeff McDonald: Why didn't Kawhi Leonard make an appearance on the interview podium after last night's game? He begged off. Leonard: "I already had did like four different interviews. I didn’t want to get asked the same questions for the fifth time." Twitter @JMcDonald_SAEN

Quixem Ramirez: Kawhi says it's difficult to talk on this team since some players are 10 years older than him. He prefers to talk to the younger players. Kawhi: "I'm more talkative with the younger guys. These guys have wives and families, I didn't want to bother them when I first came. I talk more now as I've got more comfortable with everybody." Twitter @quixem

Jeff Goodman: Kawhi Leonard a different cat. I remember doing story w/him middle of sophomore year at SD State. He showed up 30 min late, not disrespect. Kawhi Leonard just did not have any interest in the national attention. Extremely soft-spoken, focused on right things. Just wants to win. Twitter @GoodmanESPN

Gregg Popovich doesn't suffer fools. He doesn't play politics. And he certainly doesn't make a habit out of handing out bad scouting reports. So when the San Antonio Spurs coach deemed Kawhi Leonard the future face of his franchise in late August 2012, it was enough to make the basketball world take even greater notice of the young player who had quietly become a key part of their vaunted system. They noticed again Tuesday night, when his 29 points and smothering defense of LeBron James sparked the Spurs' 111-92 win vs. the Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals that gives them a 2-1 series lead. USA Today Sports

The potential that Popovich championed so early on was there for all to see. "Well, we just wanted him to be who he's been the whole year, in the regular season and in the playoffs," said Popovich, who landed Leonard via trade from the Indiana Pacers on draft night 2011 when he was taken 15th overall out of San Diego State. "I think the foul situations the first two games really he overreacted to them and became very cautious, and he doesn't play like that. He's got to be real active at both ends, and so he figured it out. "He was just himself. ... That's how he's played all year long. He's got to be one of our better players on the court or we're not good enough. That's just the way it is. He's got that kind of talent where — you know, it's the NBA Finals. You can't just be mediocre out there if you want to win a game, and everybody's got to play well, and he did that." USA Today Sports

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