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Stephen Jackson says ex-Spurs star Kawhi Leonard ‘was being held back in San Antonio’

Raptors, Kawhi Leonard

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson says Kawhi Leonard “was being held back in San Antonio” during his time with the San Antonio Spurs.

Leonard is dominating the 2019 playoffs with the Toronto Raptors. He’s averaging 31.2 points per game while shooting an efficient 57.4 percent from the field.

Jackson, who played for the Spurs during his NBA career, says Leonard gravitated toward him in San Antonio because he was an outsider.

“He (Leonard) kind of gravitated to me because he seen that I was an outsider when I was there,” Stephen Jackson said on ESPN’s The Jump. “He felt that same type of way. He didn’t want to go down that straight path like the rest of the Spurs players.

“I knew he was being held back in San Antonio. I was held back my first two years there. I knew he was being held back and I knew that he can do these things. We’re talking about a Finals MVP. Going to Toronto was great for him. I knew he could dominate. I am not surprised at all.”

Leonard, of course, requested a trade from the Spurs last summer after only playing in nine games in the 2017-18 season.

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year showed during the regular season with the Raptors he’s still one of the best players in the NBA, and now he’s establishing himself as arguably the best player in the league in the 2019 playoffs.