Although he grew up in Los Angeles, Toronto Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard says he was never a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead, the two-time All-Star grew up idolizing Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson.
Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors take on LeBron James and the Lakers Sunday night at Staples Center. Leonard is being listed as questionable after suffering a jammed foot in Friday’s victory against the Phoenix Suns.
“No, I wasn’t, I wasn’t at all,” Leonard said when asked if he was a Lakers fan as a kid, via Mirjam Swanson of the Los Angeles Daily News. “My family was, but I wasn’t.”
“I liked Allen Iverson. I was an A.I. fan, so I didn’t like the Lakers.”
In his first season with the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard has gotten off to a stellar start. After only playing in nine games last season with the San Antonio Spurs due to a lingering quadriceps injury, many were wondering what Leonard was going to look like this season.
Through seven games, Kawhi Leonard looks like his usual dominant self. The 27-year-old is averaging 26.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 44.8 percent from beyond the arc and 87.8 percent from the free-throw line.
The Raptors enter their matchup against the Lakers with a record of 8-1.
Leonard can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019 if he declines his 2019-20 player-option. There has been speculation Leonard wants to play in Los Angeles, either for the Lakers or Clippers. The Raptors can offer Leonard the most money in 2019, though, including a fifth year.