Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard blames vision problems for his slow start to the season


Kawhi Leonard helped the Spurs win the NBA title last year, with a Finals MVP performance that saw him shoot 61.2 percent from the field over his team’s five-game thrashing of the Miami Heat.

He’s off to a much slower start this year, however, shooting just 30.8 percent from the field through his first four games.

If there’s good news surrounding the situation, it’s that the reason for the slump is physical. Leonard missed most of the preseason with a nasty eye infection, and though it’s healed enough to allow him to return to action, his vision is still an issue in the season’s early stages.

From Jeff McDonald of MySanAntonio.com:

Leonard said after Saturday’s loss to New Orleans that his right eye remains blurry after a preseason bout with conjunctivitis.

“My right eye, the vision’s not all the way back yet,” Leonard said. “Hopefully I can heal up soon. I’ve just got to keep competing so I can get used to it and get my rhythm going.” …

Asked if he believed he could play through his eye condition, Leonard said: “I have to. That’s what I’m doing now. I can’t wait and sit on the sidelines anymore just wasting games. It might not ever clear up until summer, so I’m playing now.”

The Spurs are off to a 2-3 start after Saturday night’s loss to the Pelicans, though at least one of those losses was self-inflicted. Still, Leonard is probably the team’s most important player if not its outright best, so he’ll need to get right sooner rather than later for San Antonio to begin to string together some victories.