When the San Antonio Spurs traded fan favorite George Hill to the Pacers for Kawhi Leonard on draft night, many fans were left scratching their heads. Why trade a proven player for an unknown ran through their minds.
But if they need anymore convincing that the trade was worth it, then read what Leonard's former coach at San Diego State, Steve Fisher, had to say about Leonard's work ethic during this NBA lockout.
Nobody is in the gym more than Kawhi. People said, 'Well, can he shoot the ball?' He can shoot the ball at the NBA level. No one's worked harder on his shot than Kawhi. He's living in San Diego still. I had our AD call me up a couple weeks ago when I was gone. He said, 'Coach, we've got an issue with Kawhi in the arena. Event management called and the lights are not on, and Kawhi's in the arena for two straight days at 6:30 in the morning. And he brought two lamps from home, and he put them up in the arena and shot.' And that is a true story.
Now that should bring a smile not only to Spurs fans but also to the Spurs coaching staff. Here is a young man working on his shot which will only help the Spurs this coming season. And this injection of energy, hard work, and youth from Leonard should bolster the Spurs hopes at a fifth NBA title.
And it seems this hard work has helped Leonard. During day one of the Las Vegas Impact League, he scored 16 points after shooting 6/8 from the field, 1/4 from the three-point line, and 1/2 from the free-throw
So perhaps the Spurs' practice facility and AT&T Center management should take heed. Once the NBA lockout is over, make sure you hand Leonard a spare set of keys because Leonard might be putting in some overtime in the gym.
Just make sure to leave the lights on.