Hardaway was misquoted.
Hardaway on SiriusXM NBA Radio:
You know what? I can give Kawhi superstar, because he’s just not a guy that likes commercials. He’s not a guy that wants to be the face of the league. He just wants to get his work done.
He don’t want to talk, but that part goes along with being a superstar, though. But I would give him – he would be a superstar to me, for sure, because he handles his own with anybody in the league.
Leonard provides superstar production on the court. He doesn’t carry himself like a superstar, which as Hardaway said, can influence whether a player is a superstar, depending on how you define the term.
It seems Hardaway combined on- and off-court factors – and concluded Leonard deserves the title.