What did you expect? A $15,000 cake made to look like it was made of actual money? No, Kawhi Leonard doesn’t enjoy the mind-boggling lack of self-awareness that Floyd Mayweather breezes through life with, nor does he so blissfully embrace the caricatured version of himself the way his own coach Gregg Popovich does for the media every time they point a camera in his direction.
With Leonard, everything is much simpler. He is a quiet young man who just wants to play basketball for a living and happens to be extremely good at it. The spotlight doesn’t really suit him, although his talent makes it nearly impossible to avoid. He’s not a burgeoning fashion icon like your Russell Westbrooks or your James Hardens. He still wears cornrows as if this were the mid-’90s and he was some long lost member of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, for heaven’s sake.
So it shouldn’t be any surprise that Leonard didn’t throw a Wolf of Wall Street-type orgy of excess after signing that new five-year, $94 million contract this summer. Via Dan McCarney of mysanantonio.com:
“No, not at all,” Leonard said on Monday when asked if he cut loose after inking his big deal.
Indeed, Leonard’s favorite part wasn’t the money, but the fact it ensures he’ll be an NBA player for at least five more years.
“That’s what I’m most happy about,” he said. “I want to play 10 or more years in this league.”
So there you have it. Leonard has more important things on his agenda, like making his first All-Star team, winning the regular-season MVP, and getting back to the Finals now that the Spurs have LaMarcus Aldridge in tow. And if today’s response is any indication, he probably won’t do much celebrating if and when those things occur.