Even if you aren’t a basketball lover, we’re sure that you’ve heard of Kawhi Leonard. He isn’t just any basketball player; he is one of the greatest NBA stars of all time. Kawhi, popularly known by his nickname Klaw, currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers in the US.
He has been a consistent performer in the NBA since he was a young player. He has played on four different NBA teams since his debut. Kawhi is also a 3-time All-Star with 2 first-team All-NBA selections. Likewise, he has made it to five All-Defensive teams. Moreover, he has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award twice.
Most people, though, may only know him as an NBA player and not much else. So, now, how about taking a look at Kawhi Leonard’s life and career? Scroll over to read everything in detail.
Birth and Family
Kawhi Leonard’s birth took place in Los Angeles, California, on June 29, 1991. While his father is Mark Leonard, his mother is Kim Robertson. Kawhi is the eldest of four siblings. Stevie Johnson, a well-known football player, is his cousin. Kawhi’s parents split when he was just five years old. As a result, he relocated to Moreno Valley, California, to be closer to his mother.
Nonetheless, Kawhi shared a nice bonding with his father even after his parents divorced. Likewise, he used to spend his holidays visiting his father in Compton, California. After attending high school, Kawhi quit soccer to switch to basketball. Even then, his father was very supportive of his son’s growing interest in the sport. In the same vein, he also helped in Kawhi’s training.
Everything was going well until January 8, 2008. That day, Kawhi received the tragic news that changed his life forever. In Compton, California, Kawhi’s father was shot dead while working at his car wash. Well, the assassin hasn’t been identified, and the motive remains unknown to date. It was a terrible blow to Kawhi’s life. Not only did he lose his father but also his football mate and basketball trainer. Henceforth, he decided to make his late father proud by vowing to become a successful basketball player.
Kawhi primarily attended Canyon Springs High School before taking a transfer to Martin Luther King High School. He put in great and constant efforts throughout his senior year. Likewise, Kawhi was crowned California Mr. Basketball – the finest high school athlete in the state.
Kawhi enrolled at San Diego State University after a stellar high school career. Moreover, he joined the Aztecs while at university and made major contributions to the team. His skills guided the Aztecs to achieve a 25-9 record and win the Mountain West Conference (MWC) tournament title.
Kawhi primarily plays as a small forward. Due to his speed, size, and brains, he emerged as one of the finest perimeter defenders in the NBA. He is a highly flexible player who can guard at least three positions. Additionally, he regularly plays against the opposition team’s standout player.
Kawhi began his career mostly as an excellent defender and floor spacer. Conversely, starting in the 2015-2016 season, he began taking on more offensive responsibilities. Soon, he established himself as one of the league’s most efficient scorers.
He has built a varied offensive approach. It allows him to hit shots from mid-range and 3-point range with consistency. Furthermore, it also helps to post up his opponents and shoot pull-up jumpers and fadeaways. Many cite Kawhi’s playmaking as a weakness. In his first eight seasons, he never averaged more than 3.5 assists per game. Nonetheless, he improved his passing skills in the 2019–2020 season. Thus, he averaged nearly double his career average of 4.9 assists per game.
Kawhi Leonard & His College Career
Kawhi also had a 34-3 record as a sophomore and won back-to-back conference titles. In 2010, he led the MWC in rebounds. Therefore, he received First Team All-MWC, MWC Freshman of the Year, and MWC Tournament MVP Awards.
Additionally, he also made it to the All-America Second Team. After a standout college career, Kawhi Leonard left San Diego State to pursue the 2011 NBA Draft.
Kawhi Leonard For San Antonio Spurs
Henceforth, the Indiana Pacers selected Kawhi Leonard as the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draught. On the other hand, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs the same night.
In the 2011 season, Kawhi signed a multi-year contract with the Spurs once the NBA lockout ended. He made a strong impression throughout his rookie season. Further, at the season’s end, he finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting. Moreover, Kawhi was chosen to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2012.
Kawhi received the NBA Finals MVP Award in 2013 for his performance in the series against the Miami Heat. Thus, this made him the third-youngest player to win the honor. For the first time in his career, he also made it to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
Moreover, Kawhi won the Western Conference team’s starter for the 2016 All-Star Game later in his 2015 season. As a result, he was named to his first All-Star game. Additionally, he also became the sixth Spurs player to make it to an All-Star starter in team history.
Kawhi Leonard Resigning from Spurs
Furthermore, Kawhi resigned from the Spurs for the 2016 season. Nonetheless, he continued to impress everyone with his gameplay. Likewise, he won a starter for the Western Conference All-Star team in the NBA All-Star Game on January 19, 2017.
He also played in the All-NBA First Team for the second successive season. Besides, he also earned All-Defensive First Team honors for the third consecutive season.
Kawhi Leonard & His Injury
Kawhi Leonard did not have a particularly strong season in 2017-2018. He missed the first 27 games of the 2017 season due to a right quadriceps injury. Nevertheless, he returned on December 12 against the Dallas Mavericks to start the season. However, he suffered a partial tear in his left shoulder just after a few games. After months of stress about his injury recovery regimen, Kawhi demanded a trade from the Spurs.
Kawhi Leonard For Toronto Raptors
Therefore, he was traded to the Toronto Raptors as per his desire. Kawhi made his Toronto Raptors debut in the season opener. There he defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. Likewise, after a few months on the court, he received the honor of Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Later, Kawhi ended his season with the Raptors, thus winning the NBA Finals MVP Award for the second time. In addition, he became the third Finals MVP to win the honor.
Kawhi Leonard For Clippers
On July 10, 2019, Kawhi signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. In his debut season with the Clippers, he defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
In addition, he was awarded the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played in January. Besides, he also received the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award for the 2020 season.
Kawhi Leonard & His Honors
Here is a list of the awards Kawhi Leonard has received to date.
- 2014, 2019 – 2x NBA champion
- 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 – 4x NBA All-Star
- 2020 – NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP
- 2016 – All-NBA First Team
- 2015, 2016 – 2× NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- 2014, 2019 – 2x NBA Finals MVP
- 2015, 2016 – 2× NBA All-Defensive First Team
- 2014 – NBA All-Defensive Second Team
- 2012 – NBA All-Rookie First Team
- 2015 – NBA Steals leader
- 2019 – AP Athlete of the Year
- 2011 – Consensus second-team All-American
- 2010, 2011 – 2× First-team All-MWC
- 2009 – California Mr. Basketball
Kawhi Leonard & His Net Worth
Since his draught in 2011, Kawhi Leonard has amassed a net worth of $35 million. He is also the world’s 43rd highest-paid athlete as of 2021. Besides, he is also the Clippers’ second-highest-paid player. Likewise, he is the NBA’s 14th highest-paid player.
Furthermore, he received $1.7 million per year when he joined the Spurs in the 2011-2012 season. In addition, during the 2013-2015 seasons, his pay gradually grew. His yearly salary was $1.8 million in 2013, $1.9 million in 2014, and $3.05 million in 2015.
Subsequently, Kawhi signed a 5-year, $90 million contract in 2016, with an annual salary of $16.4 million. Further, he earned $17.6 million in 2017 and $18.8 million in his final season with the Spurs.
He also received $23.22 million while playing with the Raptors. Kawhi then signed a 3-year, $103 million contract with the Clippers in 2019.
Kawhi Leonard & His Endorsements
Apart from his contracts and salary, Kawhi has profited from long-term endorsement deals with a variety of brands. These have notably increased his net worth.
In 2018, he further secured a deal with New Balance. Likewise, he makes $5 million every season from it. Therefore, this makes him one of the top-15 shoe endorsement deal earners in the NBA.
He additionally signed with Nike’s Air Jordan division, for which he receives $500K per season. Despite Air Jordan offering him a four-year deal for $20 million, Kawhi declined.
Kawhi later secured an endorsement deal with Wingstop in 2016. He has also been in ads for Honey and other ventures.
Kawhi Leonard & His Personal Life
Kawhi is famous for his reserved manner. He avoids queries about his personal life and rarely gives interviews. He has also stated that he does not actively consume news or use social media.
Kawhi Leonard has been dating Kishele Shipley for quite a while now. They have two children together. Kawhi and Kishele reportedly met for the first time at San Diego State University. They were batchmates.
Despite being together for so long, the couple has yet to tie the knot. Furthermore, the lovely duo is parents to two children. In July 2016, Kawhi and Kishele had their first child – a daughter called Kaliyah. Likewise, the couple welcomed their second child – a son, into their family in March 2019. Kawhi however, has kept his children’s details hidden from the limelight.
The modest family of four is currently enjoying a happy and lavish life. They have also avoided all rumors and allegations.
More Facts About Kawhi Leonard
Therefore, we present before you the usual searches on the web about the basketball star.
Kawhi Leonard’s Birthday
On June 29 every year, the American native celebrates his birthday.
Kawhi Leonard’s Age
The famed NBA All-Star is 30 years old currently.
Kawhi Leonard’s Real Name
His actual name is Kawhi Anthony Leonard.
Kawhi Leonard’s Zodiac
Cancer is his sun sign.
Kawhi Leonard’s Height
He is 6’7″ or 2.01 m tall.
Kawhi Leonard’s Weight
He weighs 104 kg or 230 lbs.
Kawhi Leonard & His Physical Stats
- Body Type – Slim
- Chest – 47″ or 119 cm
- Waist – 33″ or 84 cm
- Biceps – 16″ or 41 cm
- Hair Color – Black
- Eye Color – Black
- Shoe Size – 14 (US)
Kawhi Leonard & His Hand
Kawhi’s hand measures 9.75 inches in length and 11.25 inches in width.
Kawhi Leonard & His Family
- Father – Mark Leonard
- Mother – Kim Leonard
- Sisters – Miesha Slayton, Kimesha Monae Williams
Kawhi Leonard & His Car
Kawhi reportedly drives a 1997 Chevy Tahoe that he previously owned in high school. That comes as a complete surprise to many since he has achieved so much. Kawhi, on the other hand, prefers not to draw too much attention to himself and enjoys driving it.
Kawhi Leonard On Social Media
He is active on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.
Kawhi Leonard & His Playing Position
As a professional basketball player, Kawhi is a small forward who also plays shooting guard.
Kawhi Leonard On Quitting the Spurs
There was a breakdown in trust between Kawhi’s camp and the franchise. As a result, the San Antonio Spurs traded Kawhi to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan.
Kawhi Leonard’s Coach
The name of Kawhi’s coach is Tyronn Lue.
Kawhi Leonard’s Agent
Kawhi’s agent is Mitch Frankel.
Kawhi Leonard & His NBA Ranking
In the ESPN NBA All-Time Rankings, Kawhi ranks 25th.