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Kawhi Leonard, Uncle Dennis

Who is Kawhi Leonard’s Uncle Dennis?

NBA fans may recognize the name Uncle Dennis, as he was mentioned frequently during free agency this past summer. Dennis Robertson has played a vital role in in the life of Kawhi Leonard since the superstar’s father’s death. Robertson is the brother of Leonard’s mother, Kim Robertson.

In 2018, Kawhi and his camp were surrounded by accusations that he didn’t want to play for the San Antonio Spurs. When Leonard and the Spurs split apart, a lot of the blame was placed upon Leonard’s uncle, who’s his chief business strategist.

The media excused Kawhi Leonard on allegedly faking his quad injury to force his way out of San Antonio.

Former NBA player Bruce Bowen claimed that Leonard was getting bad advice from his uncle.

“I think he’s getting bad advice,” Bowen said. “I think what you’re starting to see now is an individual given a certain amount of advice, and it’s not the right advice.”

This past summer, Robertson reportedly made numerous illegal demands toward teams that were interested in signing Leonard. Some of the requests include part ownership of the team, a private plane, a house, and a guaranteed amount of off-court endorsement money. The NBA did an investigation on Leonard’s camp and the Los Angeles Clippers, however, found no evidence indicating that the Clippers granted such requests.

Many people have portrayed Robinson as being a preposterous person to work with. However, Robinson has proven record of a successful businessman for over 30 years.

Robertson attended school at Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California. As a junior in high school, he was invited to participate in the 1979 Junior AAU Olympics. He graduated in the year of 1980 and went on to attend the College of Idaho. Robertson pursued a degree in Business Administration and played for the Men’s basketball team at Idaho. According to his college coach, Marty Holly, Robertson had a very shy personality during his first year of college.

“Robertson was a very quiet person similar to how Leonard is, but his personality grew over his time attending College of Idaho.”

During his time playing college basketball, Robertson became a two-time Defensive Player of the year and was also named the Athlete of the Year in 1985. Robertson became an NBA Pro-Am player with the Seattle team from 1986-1987. He got an offer to play professionally in Brazil, but opted out to graduate with a degree in Business Management.

Robertson spent over 30 years working as a banking executive with companies American Express, Carver Federal Saving Bank, and JP Morgan Chase. In 1998, he was awarded the Certificate of Excellence at JP Morgan Chase Bank and graduated from the JP Morgan Chase Managers University with honors in 2004.

In January 2008, Leonard’s father, Mark Leonard, was shot-and-killed at the car wash he owned in Compton, Los Angeles. Kawhi Leonard was living with his mother in Moreno Valley at the time of his father’s death. Despite the heartbreaking news, Leonard went on to play the next night for his high school team at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. A majority of Leonard’s family was in attendance at that game to support Leonard.

From there on out, Robertson became a father figure for Leonard. When Kawhi Leonard was asked about his relationship with his uncle in an interview with Jabari Young of SA Express-News, Leonard said:

“With my dad passing away, there aren’t too many men in the family and he’s a great guy to just talk to that has been through my experiences at my age. He’s just been through life already; good guy to talk to.”

Robinson is currently the president of the Elite Athlete Division at his wife’s, Cheryl Walker-Robertson, company Protocol International. The company offers business etiquette training and professional development.