As Kawhi Leonard plays the most impressive basketball of his NBA career, The Athletic’s Jayson Jenks checked in with Leonard’s teammates from his two seasons at San Diego State. It may not shock you to learn that Leonard was, even then, a man of few words. But the words that he did select were perfect:
DJ Gay, guard: The most he talked was on the hard court, and Kawhi was not afraid to let you know that you weren’t going to score on him, that you couldn’t get past him or that he would score on you. Every time the ball went through the net, he just said, “Bucket. Bucket.” That was it.
Tyrone Shelley, guard: Most people say it like, “Oh, I’m about to get buckets on you.” He was just like, “Buckets. Layup.” Just one word.
Tim Shelton, forward: He’d be like, “You’re not scoring. You’re not doing anything.” Or he’d be like, “No, no, no.” He’d just move his feet and say, “No.”
Gay: You couldn’t score on him, so that’s what he would say: “Nope, nope, nope.” And when he would score on you: “Bucket. Bucket.”
LaBradford Franklin, guard: If he was grabbing a rebound, he’d say, “Give me that” or “Board man” or “Board man gets paid.”
Justin Hutson, assistant coach: If I heard it once, I heard it 50 times. “Board man. I’m a board man.” That’s what he said. Absolutely. “I’m a board man. Yeah, I’m a board man. Board man gets paid.” He spoke in phrases like that. (Source)
For all of the not at all funny jokes about Kawhi Leonard being a robot for so many years were lame and dumb and lame. This new story about his trash talking confirms that.
No, Kawhi isn’t a robot. He’s a straight up sociopath.
Not to brag but I’ve played basketball once or twice. I don’t want to sound like all of the former athletes on Fox Sports who have absolutely zero insight to add but they start every sentence with ‘back when I was in the league’ BUT, I’ve played the game. I cannot stress that enough.
Not once have I ever played against someone who said ‘bucket’ after making a bucket.
If someone made a layup and said ‘layup’, I’d make sure the emergency contacts in my iPhone are well organized and I’d let my loved know that I’m thinking about them because there’s a very strong chance that guy whispering ‘layup’ is going to drive a knife into my organs if I foul him too hard.
“Board man gets paid”.
Yea, Kawhi will break all of your bones and grin after while mumbling to himself ‘murder, murder’ over and over again.
If ESPN was smart, they’d have him mic’d up for the remainder of the Finals. Cut Mark Jackson’s mic. No more Jeff Van Gundy. All we need is Mike Breen yelling ‘BANG’, Kawhi Leonard saying ‘pass’ and ‘dribble’ to himself and Doris Burke doing everything else.
Kawhi Leonard: Board Man.