I don’t know that I’d call it Kawhi Leonard‘ signature look, it’s just the only look we’ve ever seen him with: his braided hair. He’s had that look since we first saw him at San Diego State, then kept it all through his Spurs career.
Those days appear to be over.
A social media picture of Leonard sans braids was first posted to the Chinese social media network Weibo by Chinese basketball player Xuewen Cheng, and this week it has filtered through to the United States. Here’s a copy of the picture (hat tip Eric Freeman at Ball Don’t Lie).
Leonard will be confused how this is a story and will not discuss it. Gregg Popovich will make some clever quip. Then next season Leonard will go back to dominating and playing like an MVP. On a more important note, Leonard is said to be recovering well from the sprained ankle that ended his season in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals (robbing all of us of a more interesting series).
Still, this change is kind of shocking. According to Molly Podlesny of SB Nation, Leonard had this look in his eighth-grade ID card, so this is a big change. I’m the last person in the world that gets to comment on hairstyles, you can decide without comment from me what you think of the look.
It’s just another change is what has been a summer of change recently around the NBA.