And here you thought Tim Duncan was the Spursiest Spur who ever Spurred. Nope, that honor clearly belongs to Kawhi Leonard, who apparently was created in a laboratory by Gregg Popovich.

Actually, Leonard was born and raised in California, doted on by his four older sisters and was an addicted viewer of the Michael Jordan feature, “Come Fly With Me.” We find all this out, plus the stuff that makes Leonard so very Spurs-y, in a lengthy profile published recently by Sports Illustrated.

The piece, written by Lee Jenkins, makes it abundantly clear that Leonard might be the most self-effacing person on the planet, never mind the NBA. Here is one passage:

As an unassuming [high school] sophomore … Kawhi declined to correct a reporter who kept awarding his points to a teammate. “Doesn’t matter,” Leonard told his mom.

Of course, that’s high school, long before the riches and adulation Leonard currently enjoys. So what kind of fancy car does the all-star small forward, who signed a $90 million contract last year, drive? Here’s Jenkins:

He often drives a rehabbed ’97 Chevy Tahoe, nicknamed Gas Guzzler, which he drove across Southern California’s Inland Empire as a teenager. “It runs,” Leonard explains, “and it’s paid off.”

Only a Spur could possibly be so thrifty as to value a 20-year-old car because “it’s paid off.” Any other examples of said thriftiness?

He is happy to sponsor Wingstop, which sends him coupons for free wings, so he can feed his Mango Habanero addiction. This winter, after his $94 million contract kicked in, he panicked when he lost his coupons. Wingstop generously replenished his supply.

Why, yes, that will do nicely. Compare all that with Duncan, who not only likes to drive a Porsche, he owns his own car-customization shop and counts nine tricked-out rides in his personal collection. Nine! We might as well be talking about J.R. Smith here.


Meanwhile, back to Leonard (via SI):

“You’d think we were talking about a starving journeyman in the D-League,” says Randy Shelton, San Diego State’s strength and conditioning coach, who trains Leonard every off-season. But the player’s hunger is real. He is the rare professional athlete who distinguishes between greatness and stardom. “He wants the greatness badly,” Popovich says. “He doesn’t give a damn about the stardom.” You won’t find him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You probably won’t catch him in a photo shoot, on a red carpet or at an awards ceremony, even if he is the guest of honor. Check that—especially if he is the guest of honor. “He loves the game,” Popovich continues. “He ignores the rest of it.”

Elsewhere in the article, we learn that Leonard provided tough defense in pretty much every game he ever played in, and that he occasionally needs to be reminded to smile. “When Kawhi makes a mistake, he’s almost apologetic,” Popovich told Jenkins. “He doesn’t want to disappoint anybody.”

One thing the SI story has almost none of are quotes from Leonard himself. Nope, the San Antonio star prefers to just keep his head down and work as hard as he can for his 57-10 team. Does it get any Spursier than that?