Toronto Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard has always been seen as a bit of an enigma off the court, typically considered relatively reserved.
After spending his entire career thus far with the San Antonio Spurs, he has the tough task of re-introducing himself to a new team and their fanbase. One of the first ways to do that for Leonard was Toronto’s annual preseason media day on Monday when was asked what people should know about him.
Leonard told reporters he was a “fun guy” who loved the game of basketball. He just needed more specific questions in order to paint the picture of who he is off the court. It makes sense he would want to rebrand himself after a fairly strange summer leaving San Antonio.
The confusion surrounding the former NBA Finals MVP is something that has followed him since before he came into the league. When reporters have asked him questions about himself in the past, he has typically avoided any reference to enjoying himself.
Lee Jenkins wrote a profile on Leonard, noting that San Antonio had trouble understanding what he was like (via Sports Illustrated):
“When Leonard arrived in San Antonio almost five years ago, the Spurs did not know much about him personally. Even scouts, who conduct famously comprehensive background checks, found him difficult to pin down.”
Even after winning the NBA title in 2014, he said his workout schedule was too crazy to do anything fun and celebrate. This has even encouraged former teammates to make jokes about his demeanor, like this post from Patty Mills below.