Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard is known to be one of the more reserved players in the NBA. As a result of that, there isn’t much that people know about him. That’s why in this post we’re going to look at some Kawhi Leonard facts. Heck, some Kawhi Leonard stats, too. Some pieces of information that have largely gone unknown about the talent for one reason or another.
All Kawhi Leonard information gathered is accurate at the time of this writing, though this is a piece those in the industry term evergreen. Meaning, depending on when you read this, some of the stats might be different, as Leonard is still playing and nothing from his career will be finalized until it’s over.
That being said, the Kawhi Leonard facts presented that are family or non-hoops related will remain forever relevant. Hooray!
Here are a few things you didn’t know about the Clippers superstar.
Kawhi Leonard Facts 1: He is cousins with a former NFL player
Leonard is cousins with Stevie Johnson, a former NFL player who played eight seasons with three different teams. Johnson retired from the NFL in 2015, finishing off with 4,764 receiving yards and 34 touchdowns. Nevertheless, it’s pretty interesting how football and basketball run in the Leonard family. Leonard has said himself that he once considered a career in the NFL.
As a freshman in high school, Leonard missed basketball tryouts because his mother wasn’t able to drive him to the gym. The coach had a strict no-tryouts, no-play rule, so Leonard ended up playing football in his freshman year. However, Leonard quit after that season to focus on his basketball career.
“I was good,” the Clippers star told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “I probably could have gone to the NFL. I just hated practice.”
Kawhi Leonard Information 2: He Idolized Michael Jordan
Let’s be frank. Anyone over the age of about 15 grew up worshipping the man who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles. Still, it’s a rather neat tidbit of Leonard’s that doesn’t get discussed all that much.
It’s no surprise Leonard grew idolizing Michael Jordan. Several NBA analysts have said that Leonard’s game and physique resemble Jordan’s. According to his friends, Leonard would watch four to five hours of Jordan highlights at a time. Even during team dinners, Leonard would have his phone on his lap watching Jordan highlights. His friends have also said that he would always compare himself to Jordan.
“I’m Mike. You like LeBron, you like Kobe? Yeah, they’re cool, but I’m Mike. I want to be the best, the greatest,” Leonard said.
Strange Kawhi Leonard Stats!
According to HoopsHype (in March of 2020), the Clippers stud has the highest winning percentage in NBA history at 75.3 percent. Since his career isn’t over yet, it can go higher or even drop before his time with the Clippers is up. However, it’s still very impressive considering that he has suited up for three different teams.
Obviously, as mentioned before when discussing Kawhi Leonard stats, this has already changed and will continue to do so while his NBA career progresses. Nonetheless, it’s still an amazing accomplishment. One that, in theory, should remain relevant until he retires.
Leonard’s son is a Canadian citizen
Although Leonard left the Toronto Raptors to sign with the Clippers, he’ll always have a piece of remembrance with him. Leonard’s son, Kawhi Leonard II, was reportedly born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. According to Canadian immigration and citizenship law, “jus soli” states that anyone born in Canada automatically becomes a Canadian citizen, even if their parents are not Canadians.
It’s honestly a rather fun, if not random piece of Kawhi Leonard information. That being said, if he ever needs out of the United States, he has an out.
Kids, that was a joke… I hope.
He wasn’t a top prospect in high school
Leonard attended Martin Luther King High School in Riverside and won the 2009 California Mr. Basketball award his senior season. Despite his astonishing accomplishments, Leonard wasn’t recruited by any Pac-10 schools. According to his high school coach Tim Sweeney Jr, Leonard was under-appreciated by media scouting services and by college coaches. Several college coaches called him a “tweener”, a small forward with power forward skills.
To be fair to him, it was evident the NBA itself initially felt the same, not exactly swooning him as a draft prospect when he was coming out of San Diego State.
However, Kawhi Leonard stats proved them wrong in the NBA. The Clippers star has won two NBA Championships and two Finals MVP honors in his career so far.