Robinson: It's Sometimes Hard For Kawhi To Enjoy The Moment

Kawhi Leonard has a singular focus and intensity, David Robinson says, which makes his (rare) expressions of joy so much fun to see

The DA Show
May 13, 2019 - 11:36 am

After being limited to nine games last season – and enduring a frosty divorce with the San Antonio Spurs – Kawhi Leonard authored an all-time great moment Sunday, hitting the first buzzer-beater in Game 7 history to lead the Raptors past the 76ers. It is Toronto’s second trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in franchise history.

“I can’t help but root for Kawhi,” Spurs legend and Hall of Famer David Robinson said on The DA Show. “He was such a part of who we’ve been over the last few years. Going into that shot last night, he was obviously dominating the game. He was carrying the team, and it was only fitting. I was happy to see that gigantic smile on his face right at the end there.”

Leonard was a one-man menace in the conference semifinals, averaging 34.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists against Philadelphia. His final shot, however, was as impressive as it was unprecedented

Almsot as unprecedented? Kawhi’s sheer joy in the moment.

“He’s very focused and intense,” Robinson said. “I think he’s so focused on getting the job done and getting better, I think it’s sometimes a little bit hard for him to enjoy the moment. But he’s such a great young guy, I love him. Watching him play, I obviously wasn’t happy about the way things ended (in San Antonio), but I still love seeing him play at his best. I just think he’s phenomenal, and it just takes time to get the credit for being as good a player as you are. You just got to keep performing, and I’m glad to see him perform at this level. He’s been phenomenal.”

The Raptors will face the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Milwaukee, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, was the only team to win 60 games this season, and the Greek Freak was a big reason why. He averaged 30.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 steals in his final four games against Boston – all wins.

“Giannis is kind of that next evolution of the Magic Johnson type of player,” Robinson said. “Magic was something we had never seen before, and Giannis has even taken that concept and expanded that. You see Giannis down in the post dunking on people, doing all kinds of stuff, and then he’s bringing the ball up the court at full speed, he’s making passes – really an incredible specimen. He’s growing into his body, he’s growing into his role – he’s so much fun to watch. I love it. I think he’s brought kind of a level of excitement and a new fresh look at the game. His team is having success, so that really validates what type of player he is. I’m enjoying it. I love Giannis.”

Game 1 is Wednesday in Milwaukee at 8:30 p.m. ET.